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The Evolution of Culture 




Leslie A . White 

tSNIWifcStTY Of MlOfflZiV* 


New York Toronto 



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in the United StiiEfi of America- Ml righn reserved, Thi* bonk, or 
pjfrj itacof, huv not be reproduced in jny form without permit tin 
tti the ptMbhm Ukrjry of C&ngfnt C»Ata£ C>W Number %$-iu $7 

CENTR AL A^r" \rm.OGlGAl 

UtfK o. r- : ■ -* tSg-H'* 

am Htj i + 

5.* *- utmcu. 

Tq the Alritmrv »>{ My Father 

It is indeed hardly ion ninth say that 
OYUlminn, bring 2 process of long mid 
cctfitplci growth* can only be thoroughly un- 
demood w hen studied through m ermre 
ruoge: that the pusr is conrsmaally needed 
no explain the present, and the Whole to 
cjpkitt the part, 

fipwAW ButNm Tyui* 

Rriexraba irtio the Eariy History 
erf Mankind and thu Dctvfapmcnt af 
CivtiiiJthp, p- 1 - 


In rhis work we present and demonstrate a theory of rhe cvoluiion of 
culture from its origin? m anthropoid levels ro relatively modem rimes. 

I I he theory of culm ml evolution inspired and dominated most of 
cultural anthropology during the fast three or four decades of the 
nineteenth century. Evolution "is the great principle which even scholar 
n i use ky firm hold of/ 1 said England's great pioneer, lid word Hume it 
Tylor, "if lie intends to understand either the world he lives in or the 
history of the past. 11 The theory of cult tint] evolution was science's 
answer tu die question, "How are the civilizations, or cultures* of the 
world to be explained?* It was advanced hy science to replace die theory 
of creation as provided by Judeo-Christian theology. 

The theory of cultural evolution enjoyed great success in England 
□ rid ihc United Suites during the MS 70s and But during the closing 

veans of the nineteenth century, □ reaction against evolutionism set in 
both in America and in Germany ^ The American attach upon cultural 
evolutionism was led by Franz Boas (185-8-1041; from, reared, and edu¬ 
cated in Germany)* whu dominated muds of anthropological tJunking 
its die United Stales for a quarter of a century. Numerous members 
of the Boas; school opposed any theory of cultural evolution, not merely 
rllost expounded by Lewis. H. Morgan, Herbert Spencer, or others. 3 
This reactionary’ attitude received it^ mo±x picturesque cAptessitifi at 
the liamls of Btrrhold Laufer in & laudatory review of a hook by Robert 
H- Lowie, a staunch opponent of evolutionism. "The theory of cultural 
evolution ji.vj m my mind," *uid Liufer, "the must inane, «crile, md 
pernicious theory ever conceived in (he history of science." 1 William 
Jennings Bryan could have si id no more. 

In Germany, a nunevotutiomsr interpretation of culture became promi¬ 
nent around die turn of the century among a group of scholar—Friedrich 

'£. B- Tylor Awbr&p&fa%y r iS»i, p- m- 

* This Ktamnent Fins been diffptrted. fer ntppomng evidence see Leslie A. White* 
"Cfqfl udfirifrll in CdfUJii Anthropology: A Rejoinder.* A tT7<Tirift ArnknofotegiiU 
-4P-PP‘ J 04"’ 

* B. Linfei. review of Lowit’s Cuftvrr jnJ EtbnM&sy in Amtrkm Arjibfopo^tt. 
vol. an, p. 90, 191I. 



Rsin-cl Bcmliard Ankerniann, Leo Frobcnius, and Frir/ Grsebner-of 
which Gracbner wal the leader. This wtt a historical type of micrpicj 
ction the so-called Huluirtr«iltbn‘. In some resects it w« inertly 
nooevolawnisr in maul «f view* But it was obliged ro ^ '** " irh evo ~ 
lutiontsm at some Jwints, ^ «. argue that vmtennes of “J“J" ^ 
contiguous were due to diffusion rather than to .nJepouteitt de¬ 

velopment; and in this res F « if was nmcvolummut. 

The German EKffuritmist school of 
over by a Roman Catholic priest* Fathcf Wilhelm bdimidt, S D. 
(iMS-iOW), who with f ather Wilhelm Koppto md their clerical co- 
workers became an influential school of ethnology. As might , ™ 

mistd. these clerical anthropologists luve been vigorously anncvolw- 

nnrust in outlMk and action . 4 . 

A nortcvolurhmist, and sorncrimes pnttcvoliaikmist, sc_™ ° Lt m ( - \ 
became prominent in Great Britain wd the United ^ rates unog^e 
i 4jh under tlie leadership of Bronislaw Mdtnowsla smi A. R R 
cliff e-Brown, namely, the Functionalist school* “Sodal anthropology, 
the prevailing type of interpretation in Gtrar Britain today (1958), 

tionevoliittonbi in point of view* 

Anritvoldtiomsm readied its peak during the tfllos, and mochi ol 
point of view still pc™. But there are numerous indicnians that the 
theory of cultural evolution is staging a comeback. The Acuo mactin 
nf the American Anthropological Association : observed that at me 
annual nice ring of the Association at Albuquerque in December, 194?. 
"a reawakening of interest in the problem of cultural evolution... was 
noticeable:’ A number of articles have been published since that tmte 
in which the theory of cultural evolution lias been reconsidered. Re¬ 
cently, Julian Hiuley lias presented, as 2 matter of course* as a thci» 
That dots not need to be defended, the theory of evolution as hong as 
relevant to culturology a* to biology and quite a? necessary to its develop¬ 
ment/ Sr would be curious indeed—more, it would be mcomprthcnsiWe 
_jf this theory, which has been so fundamental in the biological set- 

‘See “Caihdk Amhre;*d^i« «nd Erolntion'* in White, ej>. eh, pp- * 0 - 4 ** 

' Vol* 1 , p*», Febroety, iw&- , . 

"Melville licob*, Tunhirr Ccmmeita mt Evdtrnnnkirt m Gakunl AnttifflpoWgj 

Atnrtk** Anthtepetexhu ^ pp, S*rS^ u H *, F- Aibirwfi H«fed + 

Ms* i n tht I'timiiht WmU AtciHidcr Lput, - I-'.v^Usth in S*eul 

P'.iluevr 8eutfr&*tt*m Jmtmj! of AtnhmpQh&j* ft, pp. l*HT r 4^ 1 J, sl , ■ 
Sorrfixd, "Errfmicm anJ ProwC in AmbT&paten T&Uy, A- i- *k»*bcr im 
1^ pji, mj vmuuj cHjf? iit Fiia Tfcfefy of Chfwrr Ctwntf-r, 

Greii Britain, V, Gcrfdon QsiFde 3 th published Emtatrpn, 19^1. 

^EtqIumu BiclngkaJ and Caltni^" the cdfr«rbi of dw Sai 
jfwlmpi1, j«4ilkhti| by the WemW-Gten Fouihklkfl for Artlbrapowgr™ 
Hacuicli, i9fi- 


cncctt m fruitful and illuminating in the physical sciences where it h 
coming to he used mare and more in agronomy and physics, and in 
many of tjm social sciences should flat find a place in cultural anihro- 

The author absorbed the anrievatoritimst doctrines of the Boas school 
as a graduate student But as he began to fe tch, he found, first, tint he 
COIlId not defend point of view, and later that he cmih! no longer 
hold it- In due time he cultivated the theory uf evolution in 3 course 
called Evolution of Culture* which he lias taught ar the University of 
Michigan for many years,* He has attacked the pod non of the anti- 
erduriomsts in a number of articles,* The present work is an attempt 
to present a modern, niid-twenricth^ccnniry exposition of evolutionist 

Bur Jet it be said* and wkh emphasis, that the theory set forth here 
cannot properly be called * L neoevoluaomsm^ a term proposed by Lowie, 
Golden reiser, Bennett. Nunomima (in japan), and edim. tB Neqetoln- 
tionism is a misleading term: it lies been used to imply that the theory 
of evolution today is somehow different from the theory of eighty years 
ago. We reject any such notion. The theory of evolution set forth in 
this work, does not differ one whit in principle from that expressed in 
Tytor's Anthropology in iSHt, although of course the development, 
cspiessiom nnd dcmommtioii of the theory may—and docs—differ at 
some point*. ,p Neo-l ■ rii.u-cLisju," '‘ncoplAEunism/ 1 civ- .ire valid terms, 
but ''ncocTOlurionisin/' 'ricogravitaaomsiiL," Uncocraafttikm/ 1 cec,* are 

* ffc ibo offered ihi\ course In rise Drjiurmcai of Vmbid^b^v je Vale Uni- 
vcmiy in the l&\\ scnjesier of 1047-1046:1 in the Deyarrmi-nr of Social RcUhoot, 
Harvard UjibcnJry, in rirr fall ymesrer uf ffrul its Hie I kpircnirnf of 

Anthropology* LInrvcrsiry of Caiafomk, Berkeley, sprirjp vnamrr of 1917. 

a Cf> 'Tnct^y and the Fvotaik® of Culture*' AIm£t?£iiu Amfct#fi£>!&&bt f vid, 

PF Ifcfj; “Hismrjr, Ev^Jtiikmiim and Fuotrinnahimi Three Tj-pc* of Inoer- 

fi/etarii^cs uf Djlmre." Sominreattn t&mtuS of A*tthrupBta%j 7 rok i. pp, 

■ WS? "OilTnnon n* EfubtioD: Ait And-evolutionm Fallacy** /frwtem Amkro* 
pvicrzkt> vot. 47, pp. «94Ji “Etulutiootiim in Cultural Affiffrupofog^r A Re- 

jniflflcr." ikiJr. voL 45, pp. 403-41 J p 194?; Tvuiuijiiitwry Staged, Progm* ind the 
J vjhtiiBini] of Qdmtt*? SQttibttststmt Jmrml of Amkr*p&foxy> toL j> pp, 
m« 7 , "EvolLtrionmi ind Anri-cv^luTjfKsitm in American fit hnti logical Theory.** Tbt 
C*ltnm Rtvitw t vol- km* pp, 147 -tf^ mi voJ. ioj, pp. 39-^40 And 1 ^- 174 , E 947 
[poblidiod also in PomJgucpr tranilittoo in Sociolo.fij (Sau Paulo)* vrsk sn* pp 
t™S$\ e^« and in Jipanesc rraurijrksti in Tb* Jmmud of EAmofattf* wd, 

if. pp. J-lip fflpL 

M R- H. Lowie* Hilary of Ttinry , spjj, p i8q. Alcmiikr Goldrrt- 
wdtfr, Tour Phisci of Amfaropotofkd Thought," Ea#wrr Proewtdm^ 
f&i Sectef&sirdl SnAtty* v«L p. A 6 , Jr>lm W. Bmnetf, rersrvs- I n ,'fo^CTT*"JTO 
AnrbropnlQ%ijf w vuL 47, p. 441, j^4j; K-tzuu Ntwomuri, '"On The 'NVo-c^olutiPtusf* 
ScltooJ ¥ ° /jp.rrrrjt: /jj/rtu/ of Etkrtofogy^ \ 6 L 14, no. 4* 1949^ 

Although anthropologists lay claim to the whole field of culture. few 
if any luve undertaken to cultivate this domain in its entirety. Most cul¬ 
tural anthropologists liave confined their works to nonlitcriK culture*! 
some indude the fjreat urban cultures of the Bronze and Iron Ages, hut 
we know of none who has grappled with modem Western civth^nrm- 
3](hough a few have established beachheads with community studies. 
We have committed ourselves to do this. The present volume will take 
die reader tip to the collapse of the Roman itatc. We propose to follow 
this work with a study of the Fuel Revolution tnd its institutional con¬ 
comitants. And finally, we hope to project the curve of a million years 
of cultural development in ,1 modest way and to a limited extent in a 
third volume on Recait Trends md Rtitirrc FrebalHMa: t jrr.f-.wp. 

The author is indebted to many people for assistance and encourage¬ 
ment during the years licit he has labored on this book. It would be im¬ 
possible to mention here everyone who lias helped in one way nr an¬ 
other. Scores of students in the author's courses during the past twenty* 
five years liave helped him to formulate anti to express the ideas here 
set forth- Dr. Harry Elmer Barnes’s inspiration and encouragement and 
Itis encyclopedic knowledge have been of inestimable value. The author 
wishes to express his gratitude to a number of institutions for aid or 
hospitality or both: to the University of .Michigan for granting him 
leaves of absence to order tu devote full time rn writing; to the Dep.m- 
nicnt of Anthropology at YaJe University for their hospitality during 
the fall semester of 1947-1948. and for helpful discussions with the Lite 
Professor Ralph Linton and with Professor George P. Murdock; to the 
Department of Social Relations and the Department of Anthropology 
at Harvard University for their hospitality during the fall semester of 
1949-1950, and for kindnesses shown him by the tire Professor Earnest A. 
Hooton' Professor Clyde Kluckhohn, and Professor J. O. Brew- to the 
Laboratory of Anthropology. Museum of New Mexico, the Honorable 
Boar. Long, Director, and’to Mr. Stanley Stubbs for (heir hospitality 
and many kindnesses in the fall semester of 1954-1955-, ami to the Wermcr- 
Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research and 10 Dr. Paul l-ej«. 
Director of Research, for encouragement and financial assistance. Betty 
Ann Wilder (Mrs. Harry C, Dillingham) and Grace Louise Wood ( Mrs- 
Frank Moore) have been most helpful as research assistants. And finally, 
the author wishes to express Ids most grateful thanks to his wife Mary, 
who typed the entire manuscript, in addition to sustaining the author with 
patience, encouragement, and understanding. 

Leslie A , White 


fVjrjptftfiff i vii 

F 4 flT ONE , Olfflrflfa f Gf/ffcrrf 

Chapter t* Man and Ddnuc . , 3 

it Energy and Tooii „ jj 

3, The Nature of Soda! Urbanization $8 

4- The TanshiiMi from Anthropoid Society to Hum+m Society 69 

£ Exogamy and Endogamy 101 

eL KEmhtp , , , T „ p T , , P . . T „ , , 117 

7, Structure, Functions and Evolution of Human Social Systems 142 

8- Imegmhjfi, Regulation, and Control of Social System* 103 

9- Economic Organr/AUim of Primitive Society 237 

m. Phihmphy : Myth and Lore . . - F z 6 i 

it* Primitive Culture as a Whole . 175 

FART TWO* The A^ticuitirrd Revolution Its C&nsequerira 

n. The Agricultural Revolution . - aSr 

13. The State ^Church: Its Forms and Functions 303 

14- Economic Structure of Higher Cultures , 3x9 

ij. Theology and Science 334 

16- Summary *.- . « < - 1^7 

Index Jp 


PART ONE Primitive Culture 


A Jan h unique: he is the only living species clot has a culture. Hv i'uhurt 
we mean an extrasomaric* tempo cal continuum of things and events 
dependent upon symboling, Spedficaljy and cnncrercly, culrurc consists 
of tools, implement^ utensils, clothing, ornaments, customs, institutions, 
beliefs, ritnak, giants, works of art, language* ere. All peoples in all 
times and places have possessed culture; no oilier species ha* or has had 
culture. In the course of the evolution of primates wjn appeared when 
the ability 10 symbol had been developed and become capable of ex¬ 
pression. We thus define man in terms of the ability to .symbol and! the 
Consequent =ibilir\ r m produce culture. 

Man, as an animal, possesses a number of characteristics wiiich qualify 
him for culture. Among these may be mentioned crecr posture* which 
frees the iordimbs for nonjoccmotory activities; an opposable thumb, 
which makes the hand an effective grasping organ; stereoscopic, chro¬ 
matic vision; gregariousnoai and possibly a few other traits. Bur the most 
important qualification of all is the ability to symbol. 

Wk call the ability freely and arbitrarily to originate and bestow mean- 
ing upon a thing or event, and* correspondingly, the ability ro grasp and 
appreciate such morning, the ability to tymbiib Holv warer provides us 
with a good example of this. Holy water Is a liquid ihat exists in namre 
plus i meaning or value derived from man. This meaning nr value cannot 
be grasped or appreciated with the senses, Sytnbnling. therefore, coo- 
sists of trafficking in meanings by nonscnsoiy means* Keepsakes and 
fetishes provide m with oilier examples of symbojing, But perhaps the 
I>e$t example of ill is articulate speech or language; at any rare* wc 
nxay well regard articulaic speech as the most characteristic and the most 
important form of cxpiesvbri tif the ability to symbol. 

Dogs "can 11 rule rsi ami words jud *cntefl«S r ,+ as Darwin observed 
long ago. And today laboratory rats cart distinguish the food meaning 
of green circles from the cJeCtrit-diock meaning nf fed triangles* But 
rids is noi symbolirtg. In neither co« docs the animal originate and be* 
stow the meaning; it Li man who docs this. And in each case dog and rat 
grasp the meanings with their senses because these meanings have become 



so identified with tlidr physical hx* tfaroogh the operation of the 
conditioned re (let that wnsnrv comprehension become* pottle. 

Daivin declared that "there b no fundamental difference between n|an 
and (lie higher mammals in their mental faculties," that the difference 
between them co^lws "solely in his I mans] .almost infinitely larger 
power of associating together the most diversified sounds and ideas... 
the mental powers of higher animals do not differ ffl kind, though greatly 
in decree, from the corresponding powers of min” {italics supplied |, 
11,js View has been held by many psychologist*, anthropologists, aiu so¬ 
ciologists down to the present day,* It can he readily demonstrated, how- 
cvicr^rlvic this is not the case; ibai the difference bmvodi rlie mnul of 
mad and that of subman k indeed one of kind. not me«l\ one of iic- 
CTce- tliat man’s mind is unique among all species of living beings. 

There are many tilings that man can do that no other ettaiurc »capable 
of. Only man can appreciate tlic difference between holy water arid 
ordinary water, no ape. rat, dog, or any other subhuman animal can 
lure the slightest conception of the meaning of holy water. Many pniro- 
live people distinguish parallel cousins from cross^ousins; all peoples 
classify their relatives distinguishing cousin from sibling, uncle from 
grandfather, etc. No subhuman annual can do this; no monkey can tdl 
an uncle from a cousin. No non human animal can remember the Sabbath 
to keep it h«|y; in fact, he cannot distinguish the Sabbath from any 
other day, and he can have no conception whatsoever of holiness. No 
animal other than man can grasp the meaning or value of fetishes. Ihe 
lower animats can ascertain the intrinsic properties of commodities, but 
they tan know nothing at all about their prices. Incest and adultery 
exist for man alone; all other animab must remain forever innoccat- 
Huinan beings can be killed by magical practice-.; no other animal C-Ui 
suffer tills kind of death. Only man has gods and demons, heuveas and 
hells, and iaunorrality. Only man knows death. 

All the above examples of behavior are "either-or’ 1 situations; one t* 
cither capable of the kind of behavior in question, or he is not; there are 
no intermediate stages. It is not that mint has a greater, the ape a lesntr, 
conception of sin, nr that man has merely a superior appreciation of tilt 
significance of hnly water, or a better understanding of prices. The 
lower animals are utterly and completely incapble of any of the act* 
and conception* cited above. No one, so far as we know, has brought 
forth convincing or even plausible evidence tu Indicate or prove that 
any of the low er animal* art capable of the sort of behavior illustrated 
above, even to the slightest extent. No one. so far as we know, has even 

*Oi«b Darwin, Tbt Dnffut of lf#n, 9904, Chip*, j, tS, 

'Some exwnpifi ms dic<t in Leslie A. Hliiit, H 1 h* Symbol; The Origin and 
Basis of Hum in BtWKW," Tl* Stiewe of Culture, 1^ 

MAN Mf© CULTLflJ^ 5 

m^d to argue that rats, apis, or uny other subhuman unimiil can have 
Any comprehension whatever of holy water, fetisht*, prices, uncles, sin* 
Sabbaths—or Wedne^ap-4ncest, adultery, etc. None of the lower 
animals can enter the world of hunmt Mngt pud drnrv then* lives. 
Nothing ddmon 5 £rfttts the "great gulf—at Tyfcr put it—that separates 
man from sulmtui more drimi.iurilly end convincSiiglv than the life of 
Helen Kdlcr. Prior to her aaiodarion with her readier, Miss Sullivan, 
Helen Keller Jived nn a subsymholic plane. Under the tutelage of M155 
Sullivan, sfn crossed the threshold between subsymboltc anf symbolic 
and entered the world of human bring*. And she did dm instmrtj? 

Ilic fundamental* qo-riiTjrive difference hcfweeo the nund of man and 
diar nf lower species has* of course, been recognized for centuries, 
Descartes 4 identified and characterized it* John Locke* -recognized 3 
“perfect distinction between man and brutes/* Edward BL Tylor* one 
of the great founders of modem anthropology, discoursed upon the 
‘ great gulf that divides the lowest savage from the highest ape." And 
today distinguished neurologists Nkc C. Judson Herrick/ biologists like 
Julian Huxley 1 and George CL Simpson/ and anthropologists such as 
A. L, Kroeher ‘“seethe distinction clearly Since the author bi^ di .cussed 
this matter at some length in Ids essay fr Thc Symbol; The Origin and 
Basis of Human Behavior;* and since this essay has bet m reprinted a num- 
ber of rimes , 11 wc -shall not deal with it further here. 

Man mad culture originated ttmulrancmisly; this by definition. Where 
thtv Originated anJ whether there were many origin^ a few, or only a 
single origin arc questions rliat jre not relevant to our discus^on here, 
since uc arc not writing a historical treatise and hence are not concerned 
with particular events in time and place. The time of origin, however, 
is very significant since it will provide us with a temporal pcrepecrive 
necessary to an appreciation of the evolution of culture. The time of 

1 Sc* rrvfcw of ilitt paint in Whine, ap, m !p pp, $6-5^ 

* D/Hfmti vn Mrttodf pc, jj, 1*57, 

1 Art Essay Cone trying the Htmtm UndcrtisiiJm^ boab %, eftup. ^ ^ 
M Am hnpQhjf t 3 ss; p p. ^ 

' fifjinj 0J ttjfi and Afrit, 191 15 . 

^ tm ^ s Atom, 1941, *nd “Ths Unt^ucac** of MiflT Af-nt ™ Modem 
Wajfttf C94K, 

" Tiv Wrjwtrtf o/ Mj^p. 

* Antbropohjp, f*v, *d M 1^48- 

h m-k originally putilnficd in FMaicpfrp e/ Stumer* 7, pp. 4; 3-4^1, 
h hr. l-rxn rcprinted in ETC** hurrui af Gmzrst Sflvsntkt, vof 1* pp. *14^37, 
1944. in LanxiMge, At tatting *nd Reality, S. L Kiyil^j MX W# m UmAiwi 
E. AdeurcKM ] ij iu b*r L frU P ) 4 195 j; in Rssdm^i m hiTrodactory 
AnthfBpQfogf t Oman R. Service itsL} m 19^5 in S&aufogird Theory* Lewis A. 

*nd Bernard K ascribe rj fed's. >, 19^7; and, in iligtirfy rnijed form, m Lfcdic 

A, White, Ti?* Sdnwr 0/ Cidcm, $949, 


ni qn's and cullure’s origin cannot be fixed with precirinn. of course, but 
one million yews ago represent a fair consensus among auchontus of 

the date of their beginning. . 

Wc may assume that cuhure OOM into being in me in no wing way: 
Neurological evolution in * ceitain line, or lines, of andkoprfds culmi¬ 
nated eventually In the ability to tymboL The exercise of this ability 
brought culture into existence and then perpetuated it. ^ c may elucidate 
and Justify this conception by showing that culture in all i» parts and 
aspects is dependent upon symboling T or* more specifically* upon iirdc- 
u]att speech. For this purpose wc iflay divide ihc components of erf- 
ryre into four categories: ideological, sociological, scotkncntal or at j 
tkudinal* anti Technological. 

The ideological sector of culture b composed of beliefs, and all beliefs 
_ at least all beliefs of imn as a human being—arc dependent Upon 
symbol inn, or articulate speech, for their origin and for their perpetua- 
non. A belief that the world is round of flat, that owls bring bad luck, 
chit when tempering materia] is added ro day better pottery can be 
made, that man has a souk or Lhar all men arc mortal would be impos¬ 
sible without articulate speech. All rhe philosophies of mankind or 
as components of cuImraJ systems—are therefore dependent up>n 
symbol tnfr 

The sociological component—Lt^ the customs, insdmtinii^ rules and 
patterns of interpersonal behavior, cre.—of cultural systems likewise b 
dependent upon articulate speech. liow could one know without speech 
that two mates are permissible if possessed one at a time but not if held 
sitmlraneooilyr Of that marriage with a cross-cousin is permissible* nr 
even obligatory* but marriage walFi a parallel cousin ts incestuous and 
therefore criminal? How, indeed, could one tell a cousin from an unde 
without language? How could one distinguish between mine and thine* 
or right dnd wrong, nr know whir is a polite and acceptable way ro 
behave toward one + s it? other-in-law, or how ro disperse of the dead, etc.* 
without verbal expression and communication? It is plain, therefore, 
that the behavior of man as a human being 12 in his social life is depen dene 
upon symboling. 

With regard to sentiments, or attitudes, as components of culture, 
we find the same situation. The feelings or attitudes that constitute the 
subjective aspecr of the mother-in-law taboo, for example, require 
symbolicg for their existence- Ko ape, dog, or rat is capable of feelings 
cast in such form, or altitudes so organized mA directed. "Hie loathing 
of milt attitudes toward chastity, snakes, bats, death, etc., are all ptti- 

a A portion af dw trthivwr ttt?n a no* symfwihd md k therefor* non hunim. 
Coughing, Kntcliinj. yarning, etc, ire example* of 11 1 Ek 

MAN AM? CtfT.TUil* ; 

dutcd and given form and expression in human society by the exercise 
of the ability to symbol; without ir man w ould not differ from beasts. 

But how is it with the technological sector i>1 culture, the manufac¬ 
ture and use of rook and implements' The definition of man as the tool- 
using animal* often atrribured to Benjamin Franklin—bur with a justifica¬ 
tion open to question—is obsolete. Apes not only use tools with ease, 
stdll, and venarilky; they make or “in vein 4 them ns wdl w They seem 
to be almost as much at home with tool* that require a fine and delicate 
touch as with those requiring great muscular strength. One ape may 
learn the use of a too! from another by observation and imitation. But 
for dll this, there is a profound difference between man's use of roots 
and die technology of anthropoid apes. The use of roots jn the human 
spedes is r on the tv hob* q cumulative and progressive process; it is this 
lhac distinguishes neolithic from paleolithic cultures, and the A^e of 
Coal and Steel from the Middle Ages. To the human tool process, one 
generation may begin where the preceding generation left off. Tr ts other¬ 
wise with the anthropoids. Tool using with them is not a cumulative 
or progressive process; each generation logins where its predecessor 
fJCgam There is no reason to believe that apes are any farther along 
technologically today than they were ten, or a hundred, thousand years 
ago, Why this grcic difference? 

A simple exercise in logic suggests the answer. We shall write two 
equations* thus: 

Primate organism (Ape) — use of tools 

Primate organism (Man ) — use of took-j- cutimbiion and progress 
We must assume that the difference between the use of tools, as indicated 
on die right side of the equations, is dm to a difference in primate or¬ 
ganism as set forth on rhe left side of the equations. And since rhe 
butfijtf use of tools is equal w rhe anthropoid use plus the characteristics 
of accumulation and progress* we must ossitme that the human organism 
b equal to the ape organism plus an additional characteristic that is re¬ 
sponsible for rhe difference in use of tools, This reasoning is simple and 
wtund enough. And T of course, we know precisely what this additional 
cliaracteristic is That distinguishes mars from ape; it is the symbolic 
faculty. The distinctive feature of the tool process in rhe human species 
is due* therefore, to rhe ability ro symbol In the author s essay Ls Gn the 
Uw of Tends by Primates/* 11 he has gone to considerable length m 
show, specslicaEly and concretely, how symbolmg and language have 
transformed the nonpragressive* noncurrmbtive tool process of anthro- 

'*Sei2 Leilte A. White, “Use md Manufacture of Took by the bo ***r PrimMsT 

Ansi.juiiy t vol u, pp. iiiJ-iT r, ig^B, 

V/aurTTj 1 of CompjTstive PtyckelQgfa voJ. pp, 

8 pRIfitmVlt CtUTt'RF 

„,idi jtiKi a cumulative and progressive pr°«vs in ih* human species. 
Since this essay has been reprimed in The Stieuct of Culture and else- 
where. 11 we dull not repeat the argument here. 

We we. then, that everything comprising culture has luren made [>'ri¬ 
sible bv and is dependent upon the ssmibnlic faculty: ihc knowledge 
tore and beliefs of man; Ids social swans; lm ujsotutitins. political and 
cconnmlci life ritual*. paraphernalia, and forms of art, hts tmditimial ar- 
timdes and sentiments; Ids Codes of ethics and etiquette; and. imally, 
his technology. 

The function of culture. The purpose and function of culture arc m 
mate lift secure and enduring for flic hitman species. All ^ccj« of living 
brings hclwvc in such a wav as to perpetuate then kind Sub human 
matt execute this behavior by swmm iiicans, ix^ with rhar 
muscles, organs, ere. Man, as a mere animal, ah» employs his buddy or¬ 
gans in life-sustaining behavior. But as a human being man employs the 
Ktrasoiratk tradition that we call culture in order to sustain and per- 
pccwitc liib cststfliot anti gfv« It full expression. W t tmy think oJ 
cuImre T tfsen. us an ctmsoqwiic aicriiMiUn employed by n particular 
animal species in order to make its life secure and continuous. 

specifically, die functions of culture are to relate man to his environ¬ 
ment—his terrestrial habitat and (he circumambient cosmos—on the one 
hand, and to relate man to man, on the other. Man is related to his habitat 
by me ini of tools. techniques, auirades, and beliefs. 1 ools are employed 
to exploit the resources of nature; clothing and dwellings provide shelrer 
frotn the elements; and ucensib of many kinds arc used in the processes 
of living and survival. The life process in the human species is carried 
on collectively, ns well as individually, and it is the business i>f culture to 
organize human beings for this purpose. The exploitation of natural re¬ 
sources and defensive-offensive relations with neighbors, or enemies, may 
require concerted action. Conunutial hunts, house hdiditig, irrigation 
enterprises may require organization into groups, and warfare is almost 
always a collective enterprise. But apart from direct relationship to 
habitat. the effective conduct of life requires the social organisation of 
human lieings iitlo groups of various kinds: families, lineages, guilds of 
artisans, priesthoods, «c. All the various parts of society must be or¬ 
ganized into ■ coherent whole, aid this whole must be regulated and ad¬ 
ministered in order to function effectively. In short, uncial organization 
b as necessary for the effective conduct of life and for survival of the 
human species s$ technological adjustment to and control over the 

"In i Was m Centemporjry Society. Con temporary CvOiziuon Stiff. Colombia 
University, inj in KeoJmgi fa ItotodLcrory Anthropology, El nun R. Service 
ted.). 1951V. 


natural And embracing everything is a philosophy, a system 
iif beliefs weighted with emotion or attitude or Baltics," which serves 
to relate man to both earth and cosmos and to organize atiJ orient his 
fife, collectively tint! Individually r 

We might express the functions of culture in another way: the pur¬ 
pose of culture is tci wtve chr: needs of mam These needs may be divided 
irato two categories: <x) ihoic that can be served only by exploiting the 
resources of the external world; and (;) time that can he served by 
drawing upon the resources of the human organism nitty * Man needs 
food and material* nf nuiiy kind-, for clothing* utensils ornament, etc.; 
these must lie obtained, of enune, from the external world. But man lias 
inner, psychic, social, and “spiriruaJ 1 needs that can be fed and tmur- 
bhed without drawing upon rhe external world err all. Man need* courage* 
comfort* consolation, confidence* companionship, h feeling of conse¬ 
quence in rhe scheme of tiring* that life is worthwhile, and some assure 
aiice of success. k is rhe business of trulmrc to serve these needs of the 
"spirit"' as well as the needs of rhe body- 

Life is continued only by effort. Pain, suffering, Joncsoiiicness* fear* 
frustration* and boredom dog man's steps at almost every rum. He re¬ 
quires companionship, courage, inspiration, hope* comfort, reassurance, 
and consolation to enable him to continue the struggle of life. Cultural 
devices serve man here. Mythologies (latter* encourage, and reassure 
him. By means of magic and ritual he can capture the illusion of power 
and control over things and event*: lie can "mturor the weather, cure 
disease, foresee the future, increase lib food supply, overcome his enemics- 
Varimis devices relate him ro rhe spirir world so that lie may enjoy the 
blessings and avoid rise wrath of rhe gods, Cosmologies give him en*wm 
ro all fundamental questions, of life und death and the nature of all things. 
Thus culture gives man a .sense of power and of mnfidencc. Ir assure* 
him that life is worth living and gives him the courage cu endure it* h 
comforts and sustains Irim when he meets defeat or frustration, It pro¬ 
vides Irim with companions* divine as well .is human. It attacks boredom 
and manages at times to make life pleasurably caching and of fine fluvor. 
In short, culture gives man the illusion of importance, Omnipotence* and 
omniscience, These inner spiritual—or mtTagrgjfrisrtfj !—needs of man 
arc of course as renl as those for food, shelter, and defense; in fact* they 
might be felt even more keenly^ And these needs must he served if man 
h to succeed in the struggle of life. 

There are institution* or customary practices in virtually every cul¬ 
ture that have as dick prime, if not sole, purpose association among mem¬ 
bers of the cummiinrty or some members of ir. TIscre arc tribal or com¬ 
munity feists and festival*. There arc clubs and societies, both seem 
and nooscercr. Grouping , of this sort are* perhaps, especially conspicuous 

io primitive culture 

in 3 culture like our own where the individual would lie lost in the vast 
structure* of government economies, and industry without some small 
group within which he may have intimate and parson?! association with 
his fdJows, The almost innumerable fraternal orders* lodges, and dubs 
of all kinds in our culture testify to the ubiquity and magnitude of the 
need for the annihilation of solitude and loneliness* the need for the 
moral and psychological yuppun that comes from membership in a rela¬ 
tively small intimate* personal group. The sociological sector of cultural 
systems thus serves the '"inner, 11 psychic, ‘‘spiritual 11 -—or “moraH as 
Durkheim would pet it—needs of man just as the ideological—the 
mythological theological philosophical and even the scientific—sector 

And even the technological sector is not immune; it, too, provides 
satisfactions that arc not utilitarian or technological in character. Grafts- 
mansliip, die process of doing or making si>mrthing T can and often doe; 
provide die draftsman with pleasures and sarisfactions quite apart from 
the product made or the fruits of its use, Carving a perfect canoe paddle, 
grinding a symmetrical stone ax + weaving a basket, malting 4 spear, a 
cradle board, etc , os technological processes can yield psychic satisfac¬ 
tions in and by ilicniM.lves, It is significant 10 ob^rve, in diis connec¬ 
tion* that beaut} and use are often united in handicrafts Weapons— 
even modern six-shooters—may be highly ornamented* shields may be 
decorated with designs, canoes miy iiave intricately carved prows* sad¬ 
dles and bridle* may be decorated with beads or silver mountings etc* 
Craftsmanship can provide beauty as well 43s use, can provide needed 
nourisiiTncnr for the human psyche, js well as an ides to serve material 

Thus we see dm culture in all its aspects—ideological, sociological 
and technological—screes mans inner, spiritual needs as well as his outer, 
material needs. 

It might be well to reiterate, En order to avoid misunderspjiding, that 
these two ‘‘classes'- of needs arc nor separate and distinct in actuality*. 
They are rather xipaefs of the needs of man. irttraorganjarml and extra- 
organism*! aspects, so ro speak. The thing of which they are aspect is 
rhe life process itself. En serving these two elates of needs culture is 
doing but one tiling: contributing to the security* fullness, and con¬ 
tinuity of life within the human species. 

Rebiianship between irrjn and cuhmc. We have taken considerable 
pains to distinguish cdnire gs a class of phenomena from man as another 
dm. To separate culture from man in logical analysts and for certain 
sdmtific purposes k T of course, justified. But this intellectual procedure 
should not be permitted to obscure the fact that man and culture are 


inseparable m actuality, and ibir Therefore a significant relationship qb* 
mins between the two. We shall distil this rdationsftjp in its generic 
and specific aspects. First the generic. 

Culture was brought into being by the actions of man; it is supported 
and maintained in the same way. It could not be oriwrwise, then, that 
culture should be determined m a general way, m is structure ami be¬ 
havior as a system, by the nature— the bodily structure and capabilities— 
of man. Had culture Itecn produced by a race of iuperears, supereows, 
or supc rants, instead of a race of supersjmiara , 11 ir would have been 
cjijjre different from what it is with us s because cats, enws, and ants ore 
ftifuimaenLiUy different in their natures from simians—as well ^ from 
each Other 11 te nature of man. ix. ¥ hts bodily structure and functions, 
makes possible certain development! within, and also imposes certain 
limitations upon, the culrtire-building process. Our culture woutd he 
cjiiiie different if man could subsist only upon plants, or upon a single 
genus of plum, instead of being omnivorous. Our culture is a function of 
our vision to 5 certain ttftcnf ; it would be otherwise if our vision were 
achromatic and mmsttrcascfipic. The continuous activity of our searual 
life, instead of a rutting wasrm. has a profound effect upon our social 
organisation, as we shall see Jater. If the offspring of taplem were 

bom in litters, like pigs or puppies, instead of singly, as a rule, kinship 
systems would undoubtedly differ from those that have been realized. 

If ndulr men and women wuce ro inches or to feet high* there would be 
corresponding differences in culture. The necessity of hibernation or 
estivation would require a culture different from our own. Evert such 
a minor biological difference as rhe possession of tactile hairs—man is 
the only mamma] without fhem—mlght make a significant difference in 
our culture. It is clear, then, that culture is, in a general sense; a function 
of the structure and properties of ihe human organism, Certain properties 
and capabilities of man imlre certain developments of culture possible. 
But certain limitation are placed upon the scope and content of culture 
by these same structures and properties nf man. 

Cue if there k a significant am! fundamental generic relationship be¬ 
tween man and culture, there h no instance of a specific relationship be- 
fux Cn a grouping—a physical type, race; tribe, or nation—of mankind 
and a type of culture. Few people would wish to argue that the physical 
type of the Chinese dispose? them to ear with chopsticks or to write with 
a brush rather than with a pen. Bur there are many who believe that a 
people v ‘temperament" shapes their pdiricak sockk or economic system 
they are by nature aggressive, submissive, individualistic, communistic, 
e4c * These beliefs receive no support, however, from scientific evidence* 

"Ai darenct f>ay' hu «i devtrjv pninte*! out En hk ikrfptiict j turmic hut 
profound little be kiJc Thu Simian U r #rU, iyjo. 


I’Ristrmx cuinrsf 

Peoples differ in physical type, nf course, and thev may differ tem¬ 
peramental I v, also. But we do rrnt knew what these d i (Terencesi may be, 
iior how t«> idendfv and measure them, and much less to determine 
their elTcct upon cultural differences, We do know that the influence 
of culture upon the behavior of peoples i* Jf powerful, so overriding, 
that we may be sure that such temperamental differences jls may e»sr 
amonc peoples is slight and insigtiiiicnni in compirisoo. And there is 
tfood reason to believe that the phenomena, or realities, called tempera- 
merit arc not innate, or biologically determined, at all. hut are produced 
he cultural influence. 

In the man culture si ration, therefore, we may cw«e mm, the 
biological factor, to be a constant; IT culture die variable. 1 here is ail 
intimate generic relationship between man as a whole and cultuie as a 
whole. But no correlation, he., in the sense of a cauw-and-affect rela¬ 
tionship, can l« established between particular peoples and particular 
culm res, lids means that the biological factor of man is irrelevant ro 
various problems of cultural interpretation such os diversities among 
cultures, and processes of culture c lunge in general and the evolution of 
culture in particular. 

Extratmmtie character of culture. We have already spoken of culture 
as m cxtrawmAik tradition* as having an estrasomatic, or supn biologi¬ 
cal character, This conception is very important, if not essential to a 
science of culture, and we ItWSt iheitfutc make fully clear what w e mean 
by it- We mean (hat alrfsmigh culture is produced and perpetuated only 
bv the human specie^ and ihcrcfnre has its origin and basis in the bio- 
logical make-up of mart, in its relation to human beings after It has come 
into existence and become established as a tradition, culture exists am! 
behaves and is related 10 man as if it were nonbbhgicd in charmer. 

The suprabio logical exrrasornatic chancier of cultural phenomena is 
easily demonstrated. A baby h bom into a group of human beings- it has 
rhe capacity— i potetirkdiry at first which will he realised as the inline 
becomes a child—for symbolic, cultiinl behavior, but it has no culture. 
The !wby is not bum with culture—with a language, liclicfs, patterns nf 
h lieu an behavior, etc.—nor does he acquire these things automatically 
as a function of the development of his nervous system. He acquires lib 

p This not uw«i tlui titan Jm tijidtrgune no change biottjgically finco lu* 
origin. he lias. imqu^irijiabSy, it least h fihyika] iyy< Bttc tiwn hm undergone 
no dgnifiesof change cvai phyviedly mitt Uic ippcarance of ffpwn? fjpintt ictu 
of rhoiramnaif of year* ago. And, quant iurivrly ctjnjitkreii H ns tat *>l ha cukiml «k T 
vel^piienE has tiltr place within Hie pan thirty thousand. nr periuifiS even rhe 
pul ten thcjtituid, ynn, Ym all prirrical and even ch«ircric*J purpose [here- 
fore, we mmy treat man c$ a factor with. reference to cultural direfniM* 

trtd prucsviJr* of ttdnaft dunge. 

\\\x anu gULTUKI 


culm re from the world outride himsdf, from fus hmron, cultured as* 
sociatc*. This is of course obvious. If the baby is bom into one cultural 
setring, he will acquire a certain language, certain patterns of behavior, 
beliefs, attitudes, and vo on. If born into another jmi different kind of 
setting, he will acquire another kind of cultural equipment. We ser, 
therefore, rluir offspring m tlic human specie* are bom cutorele^i they 
acquire their culture from the world outside their organisms. Cultural 
forces impinge upon them from the outside, as Dtukhelm once put it H 
I List as cosmic forces do . 11 Tilt growing infant and child becomes hu¬ 
manized, tulmrizcd, as a consequence of cultural influences everted upon 
him f rom the world outside his own organism. From liis standpoint the 
origin and locus of culture are definitely extrusomaric- 

Thc cjetrasomatic character of culture is well illustrated by another 
example: one group acquires culture traits from another. This phe¬ 
nomenon is too well known to require much duddaiioru The transfer 
of culture from one group to another may be occasional and insignificant* 
or it mav take place on a grand scale, h may be fortuitous or deliberately 
planned and executed. In any event, we witness the relationship between 
human organisms, on the one hand, and culture traits, on the other, a 
relationship in which the culture burrowed lias definitely an extent*! 
position with reference to the human organisms. 

The independence of culture from its human carriers in logical analysis 
may be sh own by two Linds of examples. First, let us consider a number 
of groups of human beings, tribes or nations, of the same general physical 
type, -.uch as a number of North American Indian tribes, f heir cultures, 
including languages, vary. In a comparison and contrast of these cultures 
and Language^ in an inquiry into the rcas<jns for their sinuLiritsirs and 
differences, we Btc not aided by taking the biological carriers of these 
cultures into conri deration * On the contra ty* to do ;m> would only obstruct 
or confute the solution of our problem. Tlic fact that the individual* 
in all tribes considered have srraight black hair* eopper-hued skim, and 
prominent cheek bones, whereas some tend to be long-headed^ ufhere 
shnrr-ftcoded, does nor help us ar all in osir study of their ifalguisdc and 
other cultural similarities arid differences. On the contrary, to introduce 
these irrelevant elements into the problem would only make the solution 
more difficult, if indeed it did not, through the confusion thus caused* 
make it impossible. 

Some anthropologists would readily grant the uTclevance of anaf vmicji 
traits to on interpnetatiun of cultural differences, but would insist upon 
mn only the relevance but the tmpumnee of psychological factors. 

“ "'Lei fcrstJjncc^ cuileetiTH «nt une criticnc* qui leur tsr prop re; tr &otit lie* 
farces inni recilei iptt la force* coimicpi**... tllei igisscut egslcment *ut 
rbdbkfti Ju* Emile Duxkhdm, he SmfiUc*. 1*97* p 54^ 


TIw personalities, character structures, minds. ego*, oe ids of peoples or 
individuals will, they argue, shape their cultures But if penonai^, 

«c. he defined as biologies! phenomena, as functions of the nenro- 
sensorv^oiTOCukr-Elandutwr-CTceiera system, then their argument» wh“»> 
iacfcinp in scientific support.-* If. however, they define personality and 
mind « products of human social experience. i.e. p as culturally deter¬ 
mined, then they are saying that culture causes or detenmnes ralraic, 
but through the medium of human biological organisms, which is pre¬ 
cisely what we are maintaining here. . , 

Secondly, let us consider a large population, a tribe or nation, for 
evu tilde, over a considerable peri oil of titiie. such as the people ut ling- 
bud between a-o. ioW and i864, or tile people of Honshu between 
A.o. t 8 fo and 1940 . U'e observe in each case that the culture lias clanged 
CTtady. The populations, as biological organisms, have, however, under¬ 
gone no appreciable change, either anatomically or psychologically, c 
cannot, therefore, explain rhe cultural change by invoking the biologi¬ 
cal factor; we cannot explain a cultural variable in terms of a constant, 
biological or otherwise. Nor would we be aided in the slightest degree 
by Hiking? die humin organism into consideration. as lie fore the 

biological factor ts irrelevant, and canscqiicntly it 4iouid be disregarded. 
In both of these example, therefore, die independence of culture from 
is biological carriers, or substratum, from the standpoint of logical 
analysis and for purposes of scientific imerp rerad on, Ls again demon- 

The cxtraotfiatic character of an j.t or an amulet is fairly wrions* one 
might it has its existence outside the human organism. Bur what about 
sentiments and attitudes, it may be asked; arc they nut so deep-seated, so 
integrally a pan of the human organism* as to preclude the possibility 
of an exmtiOffvtadc role! To reason thus is to be guilty of error, on the 
one hand, and of superficiality, on the other. 

The error h the failure to distinguish between things and logical analy¬ 
sis, between things and the mitrpretarirm of tilings. To be sure, merits- 
nsents ore imbedded in human organism in reality. But they may be 

=■We hue un |)iqo f, or croi rfpJiilfcuK evidence, rlmt people* vary appreciably 
in their huute, hintagcrtJI ) 1 dcienuEncd cnrmal characteristic*. iUtice peoples *iry 
nuTsaneallv, fcmctimci cMfcsiderilily, ux may frde# ffcse rhey differ ptjrekslcsfkally 
tlui, Rut wh*r tfc«e diffcT^secs ire and how to inrsaire them. hovt ifl 
ajctnaiti ihrir diuinetivi effect* upon maltnrtr, tf any* we do nor kapw. There a 
notch evident*, however* th at mdtcjtei thw n*ch inmn ptyeh^agk!*! ^fferenrts 
j, fRiy tnsr among people* mc truqpuftcKit; If nm negligible, En their effect 
ejpoii culture when compared with the power ami influence o( the cultural factor 
joaflf- The tmiftmn&ty of cultural expression within a population of dfron* phyiical 
rttite-TTp El one indicating uf the validity of rhii propadtfM; The tuarked changes 
in the culture of a hieing kill y cuniiraist population over * pricul <jf time arc another. 



separated from it in logical analysis; net terrestrial vehicle moves with¬ 
out friction, but the phyriebt can and does; divorce the mnrncmum of 
ychides from the friction thin impedes their morion. Similarly, we can 
divorce sentiment* ami attitudes from their biological matrixes T7te Eng¬ 
lish knmiaqe ha* no exbtoice apart from human organisms, but it is ii 
commonplace rhar we can treat it scientifically without reference rn irs 
human carriers; glands, nerves, ^Organs of speech' h are irrelevant m 
philology In exactly the same way we can divorce a customary loathing 
of milk, a tali on tgainst eating pork, m attitude of ropert for ihr aged 
and consider it as in element of a social tradition, quite apart from hitman 
organism. So considered! it lias an cstrasofmric character just is truly 
os an ax has. 

llte superficiality of tlie view expressed above lira in a confusion of 
subjective and objective aspects of any culture trait, any thing or 
event dependent upon symboling, An ax has its locus outside the human 
otgtmkm, and therefore it may be thought to he ^objective'* in character; 
in fact, we call it an abject. A sentiment, or attitude, has its locus within 
die human organism* and therefore it may be regarded as “subjective 1 ^ in 
nature. Hut thb is to fail to recognise the fact. its we have Just observed* 
Thar every culture trait. or element, has both subjective and objective 
aspect^ indeed, the one implies ind requires the ruber. An ax is in¬ 
deed an object, with in locus outside die organism. But* as a culture 
trait, it ti meaningless without an idea, 4 conception -of Its nature and 
use, k ii inseparable, too, from an amiudc, or sentiment, with regard 
to its use. On the other hmd, a sentiment or attitude is meaningless 
witfiour overt expression in speech, gefrorc* or socially significant be- 
ha dor of some kind The expression nf 2 sentiment or attitude is a physi¬ 
cal event and, as such, b ns perceptible as an ax. A sentiment or attitude 
becomes an object- i.e,, it is objectified, in Sts expression; it become* a 
thing or :sn event just as truly as an ax b P Thus we see that every cub 
turd element, every culture trait* without exception, has l?oth subjective 
and objective aspects. And all may be regarded as things* nr events. w 

We see* rhea* that culture may be considered as an exrrjsnmatic tbss 
of things and events, as a nonhinfnpfcal tradition. It is always present 
whenever man is, ft Jias its origin in rhe organisms of hum sin beings; it 
could not exist or Ejc perpetuated without the existence and action of 
human being*. But from the standpoint of scientific explanation of cub 

■This is -wha? tcnlle Durfcheim mrjnt when he tsy% Hr *h* tin? and JIhhi fond*- 
mmiaj ruU t£t?r ihe M s-ncLaJ facts] »: Cvnnder Jam &t tt'mgi™ 

This propmirion, lie Tell* it*. Iks at “the very bati of, m fhal merhofi," In The tfritn of 
Senafoskat \fcth&d George F., G- CaiJin fed)* OftiFertiry nf Chicago Pt*&. Chi* 
togUu pp. I,,, adft It will l>e refilled, dw Wfflkip Jamta pointed mt ihat 
tuirick diemsclfn may be coiiidcrei! “« ofrjetn, in i wotid of otlitf dijcds. Frm- 
cipki <jf Fryebotozy, voL I, Henry Halt and Comply, lac,, i^rP, p+ iflj< 

|ti PRIM mVi CULTtiRl 

tarA diverities and i>f pmccssw of change {hut «« of the nature of 
culture in general). culture may be treated s> if it bad an existence of 
its our, independently of the human vpccHS. The "** * faC “' r t,MS nut 
rentier explanation* made on the basis of this Mttiroptlan fieri tiutis or 
nonsdentific. The science of linguistics proceeds upon this assumption, 
and it is the closest approximation to a mature science that sve have on 
The level uf button alfaira, Man, the human species or human organism, 
ie irrelevant to the science of linguistics. He, or it, is likewise irrelevant 
in the science of culture. ‘Science must abstract clemcnIS and 

neglect ociieiC snyi Morris Cohen, “because not all things that east 
together are relevant together. "" 1 

Culture a J temporal flow, or stream. Culture ttmy Ire viewed itt a 
number of agnificjnt wavs for purposes of scientific interpretation. Wc 
may think of rite culture of mankind as a whole, or of any diittnguislwwe 
portion thereof, ax a srream flowing down through ttnie. Tools, implc- 
meiiUt. utensils, customs, codes, beliefs, rituals, art forms, etc., comprise 
rhis temporal flow, or process. It is an interactive process: each culture 
trait, or cotivcellation of traits, acts and reacts upon others, forming from 
titnc if i time new cniTibmsilinm and permucaumm. Novel syntheses at cisE- 
mmJ element we call inventions', they arc events which take place when 
the culture process places certain dements in juxtaposition or in con¬ 
junction with one another. When an invention becomes possibte it be- 
comes inevitable a fed. tc is meaningless ti> tint an Invention W4S 
piKsibk hut that it did nut occur; if it did nut rake place, in what sense 
wn it possible? Ati invention is like a shower of rain- When certain 
mcrtorulooicaJ factors and conditions art present ^(1 in proper con¬ 
junction r-dn will fall; when they m nut present or in proper conjunction 
ic will not rain. There 'is no difference here between possibility and in- 
evi Lability. lr is the same with inventions. When certain cultural elements 
ami conditions are present mid in proper conjtttlctiofS, an invention will 
rake place; when they arc non the invention will nut occur. The nu- 
mcroiLS instances of inventions or discoveries being made simultaneously 
by persons working independently nf one another ilJustmt this point: 
when the Interactive stream of cultural development has reached a certain 
point certain syntheses of cultural dements become not only possible 
bur inevitable, ant! if culture is advancing upon a broad front, these 
syntheses will find multiple and simultaneous expressions. 

The stream of culture undergoes changes of content as wet! as altera - 
imns of form ash flows. New dements may be .tdijed; old elements may 
drop fnir* Metik, coal ■ t pcrroJetim may be introduced tnto the culture 

T Morris Cdwa "Fittl™; 1 in EnejtbpwdU ef fte Socih S^kTtcci, vat. rf. Tlw 
Macmiliirt Company, New' Yort, ipjt, p 



strain Ji stages uf development dm make die stream rcccprjve to such 
introductions* Si one axc% qx carta, and spinning wheels may drop out as 
thev become incompatible with their respective contests in die stream 
of culture. 

Culture as a n&nwmporjl iy stern, We may view the culture of mb- 
kiud aii a whole, or any distinguishable portion thereof* su* a nuntem- 
poral system ^ we may consider ft merely as m organisation of cul¬ 

tural dements without regard to chronological sequences* A sym tn Is an 
organization of things and events in interrelated that the reLariomhip of 
p^rr to parr is determined by the relationship of parr to whale* An atom, 
a molecule,, or living organism is a system. Culture, too w has systemic 
organization. System implies both parfr anti jnterrelim unship* among 
parts, or structure and function, or process. We have already distin¬ 
guished four categories of cultural dements; technological uncial ide¬ 
ological,. and atritudinal. Tiiesc may he thought of as the *truciure of a 
cultural system. The incerrebtionship of these elements and dasses of 
element and their integration into a single, coherent whole comprise 
the functions, or processes, of the culm ml system, 

Culture jml cultures. When wt think of culture in general or of the 
culture of mankind as 2 whole, we call it simply fttiture. But when we 
think oi rlic culture possessed by a tribe, naa oi\ or region, wc speak of a 
culture, or of cultures. 

The culture of mankind in actuality is a one. a single system; all the 
so-called cultures arc merely distinguishable portions uf a single fabric.*' 
The culture of mankind as u whole may be considered temporally as a 
flowing stream, or ncniccinporalty as a system, or as both* Le.. its a system 
in a temporal continuum. 

Fur certain purposes and within certain limits die culture of a partic¬ 
ular tribe* nr group of tribes, or the culture of a region may be con* 
.sidered as a system. Thus one might flunk of the culture of the Seneca 
tribe, or of the [roquoiin tribes, or of Uic Great Plains, or of western 
Europe m constituting a system. Actually, of course* Seneca culture h 
but 4 distinguishable portion of Iroqudan culture. fust as Iroquokn cul¬ 
ture is a distinguishabk portion of aboriginal North American culture, 
and that in rum a portion of the culture of mankind as a whole. 1 he 
culture of all mankind does indeed constitute a ^elf-cnnfainrel, dosed 
system. But the cultures iff tribes, or regions are not ndf-coutainetl clewed 

ipfcilic culture it ui ^bsmetion, «i mtitnrily peStcreJ fnginrtL^. 
There is artly one cultural ratify ihut a not nftiftrial, the CuEruftt oS 

hutsumfy tr ilj pttidi imi tn til |Jjcca ," 1 PUdwrr H. Ltuvie, ^Cultural Anthropology: 

A Seitocc," Ameriom loumd of Soa&fogy, tok p. joj. 


systems in actuality. at oil; they are constantly exposed to tutanwl in¬ 
fluences, flowing in both directions, with other cutettes. Hut for cer¬ 
tain purposes, and within certain limits, these cultures can be trearetl as 
systems. The culture of any distinguishable group of people at any 
men time is complete; i.e., ir contains all the kinds of elements that 
culture as a whole contains, and it has systemic organization. Tims, the 
culture of the pueblo of Zfflli at any given time and regardless nf its 
affinities and contacts with the cultures of neighboring tribes Joes exist 
and function as a system* Tlit same might I>r iaid far die cultures tif t ic 
Jroquoian tribes, or of the Great Plains, or of western Europe, 

In short; it is only when and in so far as cultures Can be considered 
significant! v apart from their relations and contacts with other cultures 
diar they can be treated as systems. Failure to realize this has led to serious 
error hi the past in ethnological theory. Thus it was pointed out hv 
opponents of die theory of cultural evolution that *'a given culture" did 
not have to piss through certain stages of development in order to rcjcli 
a Certain point because this point could be readied as a consequence 
of cultural diffusion. The her that certain African tribes went directly 
from a stone age to an iron age without passing through an age of copper 
or of bronze was the favorite illustration uf this thesis The error here 
consisted in treating these cultures as systems while at the same time 
csTmvstuuic factors were introduced. Actually, of course, the evolu¬ 
tionists did not say that every culture, or every' people, had to pass 
through a certain sequence of stages, but that processes of cultural de¬ 
velopment had to go through * certain series of stages. The opponents 
of cultural evolutionism were confuting the culture history of peoples 
with evolutionary sequences of culture.^ 

We may. then, consider the culture of mankind as a w hole as a system. 
We may also think of flic culrurcs of distinguishable groups of people, 
or of regions, as systems, hut only in so fur is (hey arc uninfluenced 
by contact with other cultures To the extern that we can think realisti¬ 
cally of the culture of Ztmi or of western Europe or of aboriginal America 
as tier significantly influenced by other cultures, m that extent can we 
think of rhem as systems. 

Technology: The Basis ami Determinant of Cultural Systems 

Through logical analysis we have distinguished four kinds of com¬ 
ponents of cultural systems: technological, sociological, ideological, 
and wntimcnral. or altitudinal. Viewed statically. These classes of cul¬ 
tural phenomena may be considered as parts of a whole, as different 

*5er Ltibe A, White, “DilTuiinn vl Ewdutinm An Ami-i-b utitrinniif Fallacy,’ 
Ament m Amkwpahtiii, voL 47, pp. i(HJ. for fuller tmrriimi of thh point. 



sectors nr areas of a culture. From a dynamic -standpoint* however, 
technology, social orgttrizariorx, anti philosophy are to lie considered as 
ispects of any cultural system, or as kind?; of behavior of rhe cultural 
sysrem as an organic whole—as breathing, merahdiring. procreating* 
etc., arc processes carried on hy a biological organism as a whole* This 
means, of course, an intimate interrelationship between traits distin¬ 
guished as technological, social, philosophic, ctc +p as uc have already 
seen, Bur rlie fact thnt these four oihunat categories are interrelated, 
that each is related w the other three, due* not mean that their respective 
roles in the culture process are equal, for they arc flat. The technological 
factor is the basic one; all others are dependent upon it. Furthermore, 
the technological factor determines, in a general way ar least, the form 
ant! content of the social, philosophic, and tfntinmntsil sectors. 

The technological basis of cultural systems is rather easily demon¬ 
strated. All living organism* can maintain themselves k individuals and 
perpetuate themselves as species only if a certain minimum adjustment 
to the cite mil] world is achieved and mainta ined. Inhere must be food, 
protection from the elements, and defense from enemies. These life- 
mstaining, life-perpetuating processes are technological in a broad, but 
valid, sense; i.e. t they art carried on by material, mechanical, biophysical, 
and biochemical means. 

If it be argued rhar technologies could not exist without ideas—and it 
is of course a matter of observation that technologies do not 
exist apart from idciu—and that therefore booh arc dependent upon 
ideas, it may be countered, first, that ideas can be significant and effective 
in the maintenance of life only by receiving expression through ceding 
logical means, and hence arc dependent upon them, whereas the techno¬ 
logical culture is significant directly. Secondly, in associations nf tech¬ 
nologies and ideas, one can account for idea systems in terms of 
technologies, and technologies can he explained in terms of the ph) sico- 
chemical. mechanical means of adjustment of one material body to an¬ 
other, hue if one explains technologies in terms of ideas, the ideas are 
cither unexplained Or are accounted for by sipp«l to other ideas, which 
amounts to the same thing. 

it is fairly obvious that the social organization of a people is not only 
dependent upon their technology but is determined to a great extent, 
if not wholly* bv k T both in form and content. As a matter of fact, 3 
social system might well be defined as the way in which a society makes 
use of Ic* particular technology in the various life-sustaining process: 
subsistence, protection from the elements, defense from enemies, com¬ 
bating disease, etc. The activities of hunting, fishing, gathering, farming* 
tending herds and fiotkv mining, nnd all the processes bv means nf which 
raw materials are transformed and trunk ready for human consumption 

30 PRIMITIVE ClftTline 

«e not merely technological processes; they are social processes “ 

And it social processes they are functions of their respective tec no ogl¬ 
ed processes; as ilie fatter change, so will die former- Hie processes of 
conibirinEf disease, “controlling" the weather, providing protection 
a ™ t the element; and defense against enemies arc likewise social 
processes- Soda! systems liave, therefore, like technological systems, wb- 
Srmce, health- protection, and defense coordinate. Of these. the sub¬ 
sistence function is tiic most important because all others are dependent 
upon it. Thus, liunrint!, herding, gathering, fishing, farming, mining, 
manufacturing, and transportation will influence, «ch m its own vtsy, 
and in proportion to its magnitude, the form and content of a s«cia 
system, Any society will have more than one of these technological de¬ 
terminants; wrne wfll have many. In addition to the exploitation and 
processing of niareriah taken from nature, any social system will be de¬ 
termined by medical, protection;!!, and military rcchnological factor? as 
w ell. Each of these is capable of considerable variation. A social system, 
tven fire simplest, is therefore a fairly complex affair, complex in the 
sense that It is the resultant of s number of factors, each of which may 
van' considerably. We may cypress this by means of the following 
formula; T(Sb X JV X D> - society, «r uteul system, m which the 
technological factor, T, exercised and expressed in the tools and processes 
of subsistence, Sb, protection from the dements, Pr. and defense from 
encnues, D* determine the social system. Each »f the three subfactors^- 
the technologies of sulsistcnce. protection, and defense—may vary enor¬ 
mously in its range of specific expression, from the digging stick and 
Club to modem agriciU rural technique; and guided missiles, producing a 
corresponding result in the social system. 

The propositions set forth here arc neither abstruse nor radical. On the 
contrary, they are little more than recognition of the obvious. A hunt¬ 
ing people will have one type of social organization as a consequence 
uf this kind of activity, if., the use of certain Technological implements; 
an .igrieulturti], pastoral, or industrial people will have another Cast to 

•‘"l he ship and rhr Twill emplirrcd in in prodiwrinn xymbolLce * wMe economic 
and wnai ijuxnt," V. Carton Chile; 'the MUna...eI*> iniplixt an wiMniny. 

4 toe hi ueginiiarkin_The hrwp* nxe which replace* la wont ax] n fl« only a 

luntrmr implirrnenr. w also prmuppCHS i more orwtiplfx Cfmpniic Jm1 vtclA," SUr. A? u m Hwatil, C A. Wttn & U'., Ltd., 1 -ondon, I 5 !I, PP M-M 

Tim ei in ilsup dcMumt to the view of Tkiai which he inti hii diidplcs ubco ** 
cnnibai the theory of cultural rydoriem, “The early fltnmtfK* Mtirpri m 
tocu! oE^xmnrtEifi md eeotioftik cundiHrui have proved v* be fallatloyi ■■■ luvc 
■imide induwTw^ am I eo-mpte* oi^aniutW. or diverse mdusrpet and smpEe Wganm- 
tioCL* 1 Franz Ruii, "Same Fioblcim of Mcdindology in the $add Scrnn% lk FSjfi, 
Unsm$e md Culture, The Marmilkn Company, New York, p|i. See 

also Fran* M Thr Amu of Amhropdagkal Research." reprinted from Sdmtt, 
i W j p ia >&<L p and T rain B*rs. Tic Mmd &f rrimitn* Mm r mW, pp. 17^ m- 


social system, The influence of the technology of war b quite evident 
in some culture^ defense against enemies, in others. The cl nsc and neces¬ 
sary articulation of a social system with its associated technology may 
he hit; (lighted by imagining ii nomadic hunting tribe and a sedentary, 
agricultural rrihe exchanging ■social systems. 

Tlic influence of technology upon social organization is expressed m 
mo ways* Fiisr H there is the direct effect of technological inrcnimcnts 
upon the behavior of human organisms. A bow and arrow, digging stick, 
dock, nr steam engine produces certain orbits, nr pa items, of behavior. 
Secondly, these patterns must tic related to each other OH the social 
leach So order to make a coherent, integrated social system possible I' he 
manner in which ibis jntcmtatifiiiship uf social patterns takes place h 
conditioned bv their own structure and function, which arc in turn 
technologically determined Thus, a brother!]r>otl of railroad Trainmen 
b 3 grouping formed upon the bask of patterns of behavior that are 
formed directly by the use of locomotives, car^. etc. And society must 
have means to relate this brotherhood ro other social groupings and so 
incorporate it into society a* a whole. The effect of technology upon 
lodal organisation Ls thus cscrckcd directly through the u-^e of cook 
utemil% etc;, and indirectly in the process of interrelating the social 
ptittems formed directly by the technology- 
To be sure, it may nut l>e practically possible to account Un minute 
differences of social system in terms of technology as 3 determinant* 
One might challenge the thesis set forth here by demanding a Technologi¬ 
cal explanation of such facts as the following: two tribes have similar 
technologies, but one has a special reciprocal term for the relationship 
between mothers brother and sister's son. whereas rhe other does not; 
or, that one tribe has dans, whereas the ocher does not. Wr might nor 
he able ro supply an explanation of the^c or other leamro or social 
systems in technological terms* Rut inability to do rhk would not neces¬ 
sarily mean that our thesis is invalid It k not always possible m observe 
microscopic events effectively with a macroscopic spyglass. 

If social institutions are shaped by the operation of technologies* then 
social change wdl tend to follow technological change. Rut the in¬ 
stitutional response to technological change may not lie immediate. 
Institutions come to have an inerto of their ow n. Use articulation of one 
institution within a social structure may tend to preserve the institution 
inner, ti n. Thus 2 ditiixnttion^beTWtco institution and technology 1 mv 
arise, the lag between institutional change und Cultural change is no- 
to 1 inns To explain the minutiae of social structure tn terms of technologi¬ 
cal influence* therefore* we would have to know the history of every 
detail of a culrurd system* Secondly r* we have seen, a social phe¬ 
nomenon b die raulrinc not merely of one technological factor, bur of 

tt PM&tmVfc CULTURE 

tnanv. The denotation of the avuncular relationship by ft dn ? lc 
fcrTn * we tiuv S;iv. d minute and particular expression of the caopera- 
finti. inrecrition, and solidarity required by the gr^P in order to make 
life secure! But w break this tWWil into al! its technological dererminai ts, 
such as all the tools, weapons, utensils used by » ®»be, might prove o 
be an impossible task, even with more adequate means nf *^T-> *" 
we now p^ess. Thirdly. as we have already pomred ^ ^ 

mctir may «rte to interrelate and integrate other social dements rlut 
have been fnmied direcity by the technological factor, and *<*«*" 
alientiv the imlirect rather than direct result of technological influence. 
This would, of course, make correlation between the ral and the 
technological even mute difficult, Finally, we would reply to the demand 
rhar reinterpret details of kinship systems and other metal forms «J 
terms of technological influence by asking, If they art not determined 
rcchnnlogtcally. either directly or indirectly, how di*n are they deter¬ 
mined =” Alternative explanations would seem to be msntict, ideas, and 

f j|E 

Instinct can probably lw dismissed at tlic outset; no one, we dare say, 
would want to argue that anV cultural form is determined by genes and 
chromosomes. If ideas determine social " h « determines the ideas? 
We have touched upon this point before. To argue that a people deter¬ 
mines its social organization by its own free will end choice really 
explains nothing and shuts the door to further inquiry as well. Macro* 
seopicallv, the effect of hunting, fishing, mining, gathering, fighting, 
farming herding and manufacturing upon social organization is cosily 
demonstrated, Wc can go further and show how technological processes 
influence customs of marriage, residence, and descent; how lineages, 
clans, occupational croups, caste*, special mechanisms for social regula¬ 
tion and integration, and sn on, are powerfully conditioned, if not deter¬ 
mined. by technology. The theory nf technological determinant*!, direct 
cr indirect, of social organization is thus effective and Iniiifii); ir will 
carry us fir. The difficulties rhat wc encounter in its application to 
minutiae are technical in nature rather than fundaments!. They are the 
practical difficulties of actual measurement and correlation among nu- 
nrtfous and specific variables; they are not due to inadequacies of our 
premises nr to shortcomings of our theory. They are to he compared. 
Jet us Tav, with the difficulties of tracing the trajectory of a raindrop til 

*R[ith Benedict appear! dearly to nice rhii view. "The K rcjT ^ aknig which 
«]| t hc possible human behaviour* u* diitrihuted h far t» irnmerut mitooMw 
cronmdictiom f«r any "tie culture to utiliM even my comiilerjlile perrion of ir, 
^cIcrtErtii h the finr reqairenMixt _ iifiy sodcry stSectt *nmc M^mtnr of rtir ate m 
iMri&iblft htirnan b*hin<nir* «hkb rhey rHcn "tipanfce in their tndftjratiaJ tnsnna- 
f j, hTls am r Patterns cf Calm re, Houghton Mifflin Company, H^n, 1914, pp, atf. Jf 4 - 


a windstorm r-jihcr than those involved tn comcrucriitjj a perpetual- 
morion machine 

A dose currtbdoti between type* of philosophy mil typ« of technology 
cm lit established* Here spin fishing, limiting k Editing, firming, herd- 
mg, and nwradfacturing, as Technological processer, have their philosophic 
counterparts. Fishing implies a certain body of knowledge, belief, lore, 
and understanding; farming, herding, or manufacturing implies smother* 
And in each one of these fid eh, the philosophic component varies as die 
techno logical factor varies. Largest ale firming as a capitalist venture, 
made possible Today by machinery and tractors, carries with it a phBoso- 
phy quite different from of farming with mules or cw«i in 1850 as 
a wav of life. The same may he said for the other ways of making Life 
secure: the medical, military* and industrial arcs. 

The philosophy, or ideological component, of every culture thus far 
is made up of naturalistic and srupernatiaralLstic dements. The role of 
each in any given situation is determined by the underlying technology. 
Supernatural ism flourishes best where man's control Over I115 relations 
with the external world, with the realm outside his ow n ego, is icast, and 
tlih control is exercised and expressed in materialist, mechanical, physi¬ 
cal, ind chemical—Le^ technological—terms. Thus, where the ceramic 
art is well developed, a minimum of magic is employed. In occupations 
in prchtcrate cultures like burning, fishing, comhating illness, warfare, 
and in dealing with rhe weather, wliere control over things and events 
b relatively slight supernaturaUsm luxuriates. In die course of cultural 
development, as control 1 m me reape d, 5upcrn.1i un I ism lias waned- Know!* 
edge and undemanding increase as rhe material* medianical f phydeo- 
chemical means of adjustment and control arc improved and extended. 
Aptness, for example, ihe great effect wrought upon knowledge, luJief, 
and outlook:—t.e., upon philosophy—by the telescope and microscope; 
by such advances in agriculture n* Irrigation, draining, use of am Mela] 
fertilizers, and plant breeding:* by technological exploration* in the physi¬ 
cal* chemical, biological, geological* meteorological, and astronomical 
realms. Astronomy md mathematics—geometry especially—iroy be re¬ 
garded ro a great extent as by-products of agriculture. 

An explication of a philosophy requites more than an appeal to techno¬ 
logical determinants atone. A philosophy is an expression, in verbal form, 
of experience. Much of the experience of man as m anrntM b determined 
by lus organism in its interaction with Its environmental setting. Hut the 
experience of nun as .1 bmoxn faebffo as .1 “culture-bearing animat,” 
b determined at bottom by the technological means w'ith which he 
b articulated with his nacura] habitat. This means that as the technological 
structuring of experience changes* the pfulosopluc expressions of ex¬ 
perience will change. 


' Su( there is more to * Ml and &*&** txfmmon of• P^T>’>' 
dun This. All human experience takes place within * ^ 
exotnence of the human organism in itiic ruction with res ermronme 
ma y be structured technologically, but It is fitend through . 
of social relations before it receives expression m, verbal form. 
The expression of experience arising from technological sources ,s con¬ 
ditioned by- passing through the medium of a social system, and tfus 
medium mW refract the expression m one way or another. A j™ 1 
tribe ti feudal order, an industrialis-xtl capitalist society uitl each ha 
philosophy conditioned by its respective social, pol.dcal, and™m* 
Ltitutiori. Furthermore, much of human experience is nf institutions 
themselves directly- The social system of a culture is always an important 
factor in the philosophic expression of experience. 

The importance of social systems in shaping philosophies and affecting 
their content in no way invalidate mir theory of technological d«cr- 
miti j tiiin; it merely qualifies and amplifies re If social 
philosophies, the social systems rhcime Ives are determined by technologies. 
Ivc may say. then, that philosophies arc determined by technologies 
{i > dircctlv- and (i) indirectly, through social systems. 

Our theory of technological determination does not enable us to deal 
*irh microscopic details in philosophy any more than in the Ml <* 
sodal ortraniretitm. We cannot explain in terms of technology why. 
for example, in one culture there is a belief in three souls per person 
whereas in another there is a belief in only one. But it must be re¬ 
membered that our theory spetiGcs generic kinds of belief rather rhah 
specific beliefs. Philosophically. there is no difference in kind between 
a belief in one soul and a belief in three, The difference between a belief 
in soul or souls and a belief in protoplasm can, however, he accounted 
for technological Is We can distinguish various type of philosophy 
and correktethem with types technology'. Thus, any culture! anthro¬ 
pologist could tell in advance what type of philosophy would be corre¬ 
lated with an upper Paleolithic Type of technology, for example. Hunt¬ 
ing, fishing, farming, etc., each has its philosophic reflexes and emphases. 
As a theoretical principle, the proposition that in the system that is cul¬ 
ture. philosophy is determined by technology in irs type, emphasis, 
orientation, and generic content is illuminating and fruitful. 

The application of the theory of technological detemitnirion to the 
category icnt/wfCWH in culture is less significant than Its use in the social 
and Vfiilosopiuc spheres. This is not because rhe theory is less valid here 
than elsewhere. It is because sentiments themselves are less significant in 
an explanation of cultural systems than social institutions and systems nt 
belief. To a considerable extent, sentiments are merely an emotional tC- 
compaoiment of technological, social, and philosophic elements of cul- 



cure. There is no event in the culture process that lines not love its 
feeling rone. Bur we do not claim that we can explain each expression 
of sentiment nr attitude in rains of Technology, We may not be able 
to explain in terms of technology why one people regard? bats with fear 
and loathing whereas another is indifferent to them, nor why the Navajo 
liavc an attitude of fear add dread toward the dead whereas chdr neigh¬ 
bors, the Hopi* do nut* We do believe, however, that the theory of 
technological determination will help to explain many sentiments that 
would remain unirtcelligible without it. Thus, the attitude toward 
mothers-m-Iaw that has become crystal lixed in manv cultures as i format 
rule of avoidance has been "explained” psy c hologicolly hi terms of 
mother images, the Oedipus complex, identification nf sdf with daugh- 
icr on tiic part of the mother, and so on. What these psy chi logical c\- 
planjirmm leave unanswered is, why do we find the mother-in-law taboo 
in some cultures and nor in others? Hie materialist* teduiologicaJ theory 
is useful here. The presence or absence of the taboo may he correlated 
with certain social forms* such a* customs of residence in relation to 
marriage, divLimn of labor between the sexes, mode of subsistence, of- 
femive-defen^ive relations with neighboring tribes, etc., all of which cm 
be correlated witb the technological foundation upon which the cultural 
system rests. 

Ideals of beauty in women may in some instances Ik: correlated rather 
closely with the mode of subsistence a$ eodmologkaliy determined. In 
cultures where technological control over food supply is slight and food 
is frequently scarce as a consequence, a fat woman is often regarded as 
beautiful. In cultures where food is abundant and women work Utile* 
obesity is likely to lie regarded as unsightly. In some societies, a sun- 
browned skin in women was a truuk of the lower class of pefl.-i.inrs. lor 
example* Ladies, on the or her hand* took great pains to present a fair 
skin. In cither cultures, e.g.* our own today* die pallid skin is a mark 
of the urban working girl w ho sees little of the sun* whereas the wdl- 
rannrd girl is one who con afford to spend much rime on golf courses 
or bathing beaches. Hie attitude toward sun-browned skins b here re¬ 
versed The social systems involved are of course obviously shaped by 
their respective technologies. 

Sentimtfits pertaining to the distinction between Li wc ‘ and "they" 
groups on the tribal, national, and intematiotial levels are of course 
tremendously powerful and significant in social intercourse. Sixe of social 
unit is especially relevant litre- In some situations wc find small groups, 
each w ith its indcpendcnce + integrity* and solidarity- Individuals within 
these groups owe allegiance to them, respectively* and regard all groups 
save their own as inferior or hostile. In the course of social evolution* 
however, a number of these separate and sovereign groups may l>ccamc 

i6 FHIM ttnt cej-Tvm , 

iilwolete and their omlgarmtion inevitable. And 

*■« «f «*•**• 'kv!“ 

“"d hTOr^ n S‘Sb .TbT™. * Khnotofial M*- ™“ " l ‘" 

m sas « n be j™®*" *“■' b >' 

don of social and political groupings by the 

forces rhit determines the direction and scope of the senrimt . 

iSrito sentiments could no doubt be tended ,n td^lc. « 
mure iniclUetble in the use of this theory. We might suggest such 
JL, « snirudv, Juurd cliastity. curtuaiudu, slavery du-otcc. .ndusrry- 
S or ,,«e. spec! tic roles of oaefare. .net c-^bdorben. It 
scents Jikclv ntenv sentiments winch are now cither not fill) 
stI *d ur are dtSTTilacdas irrational vagaries could Ik made 
hie through the application of our theory of technological dercrfmn*tton. 

iCX^V », in summary of our disc™ of the mrcmbnorv 
ship of technological, social philosophic, and senmticnnl sectors of en¬ 
tire that technology is the bass upon which the cultural system » 
whole r&ts. Secondly, it is the technology of * th “ 

in a .nmcral wav the form and conrem of ^ philosophy, 
and -Srimcnts/ln the system that is culture technology s the mdy 
pendent variable, the other sectors the dependent vambly All human 
fife, and consequently culture itself, depends upon the materu, p , - 
eal chemical means of adjustment of man as an animal species 
SSHm to the surface of the earth and to the surroundmg 
cosmos. This fact is so obvious that to emphasize it would 1 * (p'lte s pe 
fluoos were it not for the prevalence of theories which rest upon other 
premises. Society* philosophy, anti sentiment are, m effect, ntmrechnologi- 
cat forms of expression of die basic technological process. 

A word of caution is in order here, however. In emphasizing the 
dominant and determining role of technology one should not lose sight 

-■ 1S <rf«n happen*, «w «** «■ the (.rginiratiffli of the family the 
rjKewn cTimodim of human -emiroem* inhwm m «rry mold, the irjc ord 
3 f««\ dentil Or The e-may, i- b the of the rebnon- 

, 1 ,™ „i fcmihm which hsa detcmuMd lie ittficcmm sainmcnB of parents and chi- 
d^u.- treiv wise t ftidul fit, eiitcurjlI phcnomtOT a directly "f l f_ 
bv a pwelwlnviesJ phenomenon, we may be sure that the eaplmutioo «■ false, 
TJurkheim. i> fa Pbitw* d» ttnvil totLil «rar trendt-w). i®5Ji ia * 

MM. .0,0, p- *4- See ,Uo hril. iA. WbbO 
,-L IKwhuiofiMl iBterprewiflns of Human Beh»«r, The Srftne* of O * W- 


of the influence exerted upon technology by social, phdoscipJuc, and 
scnrimcnrul factors. To assert die preeminence or dominance of tech¬ 
nology is not to deny ail power and Influence to i si her factors. We in- 
sidled at the very outset upon the interaction and inter re briomlsip of all 
aspects of culture,, even though the ivies played by each were not equal 
in magnitude of influence. Having demonstrated the dominance of the 
technological factor in the culture process, tr would be well to cite j few 
tramples of influence ca erred upon technology by ocher kinds of factors. 

TeduioJogies exisc and function within social syxmm and ate Come- 
quctidy condi tie net! by them. A social system may stimulate the tech- 
oology ir embraces* encourage full and free exercise of its funenum, 
and promote its growth and development. Or it inay restrict frac 
techno logical exercise and expression and impose Curbs upon its growth. 
There h room for much variation between these two extremes, Some of 
our Indian pueblos have refused m adopt machinery from their white 
neighbors or to accept it from the Federal government, The Luddite 
movement in England, iSij to i8t6 p in which bands of hflrtdicrafrsitien 
destroyed the newly introduced textile machinery p was a dramatic ex- 
pression of the attempt of a social factor ro oppose an advance in technol¬ 
ogy, Corporations producing goods for sale ar a profit occasionally buy 
patents in order to keep them from being put into use and by ?o doing 
rendering obsolete much technological equipment Monopolies fn 
quentiy hold technological progress back in one way or another. 

Much the same observation* can be made with regard to philosophies 
or sentiments. They, too, may aid or oppose free expression or growth 
of the technologies which, respectively, they embrace. A see of beliefs 
may oppose medical technology, for example. Certain attitudes or senti¬ 
ments might do likewise. 

We arc confronted by no theoretical problem when sock! systems, 
philosophies, and sentiments promote the free and full expression of die 
1 ethnological process. Bui what become! of our theory of tedmobgica] 
determinism if social nr philosophic factors may successfully oppose 
the technology? 

Culture in general, or a culture in particular, is a system, % whole 
made up of moving interrelated pans. A cultural system* like any other, 
tends to establish nod maintain un equilibrium, even though rhb l»e a 
moving equilibrium, in cultural systems a balance i> struck between the 
technological, social, philosophic* aid smrittttiital factors. The technology 
b the basis of all other sectors of culture, ir is redin oiogltd change or de¬ 
velopment That produces change or growth in thr other cultural sector 
The motive power of a culture* so ro spcak 3 lies in i& technology, for 
here ir is that energy is harnessed and put to work. But the magnitude 
of this motive power is always finite, however gmt it may be. Now 


, ien , icchnoluey of a given magnitude «f strength of power * opposed 

d£t^t ?£Ski 


n m f «. *. *- t'"rr s r 

concessions St to an opponent of our theory of technology! 
temunism This theory sates merely that of the various classes of forces 
within a cultural ram, technology is the basis and the P™*' 

3 the system It does not assert that it is omnipotent, independent ol 

conditions and subject to no limitations. 

The Science of Culture 

We luve cone to some pains to distinguish a suprabiologieal, wp*- 
psvchoogiJ class of phenomena* a class of things and events which 
St of or depend upon the eserdse of man’s unique 
bur which are considered in their estrasomanc aspect. We «U diu - 
of phenomena culture. It constitutes a distinct order at redity m> our 
Conceptual scheme of analysis and interpretation. As a distinct "rderoi 
phenomena, culture requires a special science for us study and micrprcra- 
Em * This science is most properly and precisely labeled cult £?* 
We have sirnwn that cultural phenomena behave in acconknceu 
rhdr own principles and lau^ This means, a* we have alrcad> sheared, 
that cultural phenomena as such must be studied and interpreted iri re Jins 
of culture b ja, t!iC interpretations must be m culturological rather th 
psychological. physio!.^ chemical, or physical terms.- VVe now w^ 
fo note Imcflv Tlw kinds of behavior manifested by culmral phenomena 
end to distinguish emphases or aspects within the science of culture, 

r During the l«t hundred yeire it h» become iocmuingly dear *««*«*£ 
a l(nnct demdic Wc have I in culture] a thmg m Rex™ *« *; for its bfMtipCfca ■ dwtinci wirBce.’' K. H* Lowie, ' Culw ^ 

A Science" AmtrUJn lourtisl of Sceiologj, vd. 41, p. p*. («A «*d Cttltu * 

VtlTi«,Vbf Soviet 0/ Culture, 1049, PP- nj-HT* Wf' fot * 

ittssinu of the reim eulrarology. - . rutiur- —< 

- -Culmr* - .. «n 1* mpUincd only in terns of >«lf. «y» l "’ M ln Cu},J ^ 

E -ST'A VV-toe, "The F.tpmion of the Scope of Science,' 'Culro logical «. 
pJ£*M Inicrpre^m X H,™ I^hsrior." md The S*« of Culture, 
in' The Science of Cut tote, 1949, for eittuiive di^usion of thu pouic. 


We have already noted that culture is competed t?f up its which we 
call or traits. These traits arc not all alike, like so many atoms 

of hydrogen* but are of different kinds. In nur scheme of analysis (there 
can be, and are, others), wo distinguish objects, acts* ideas, and sasth 
ments or attitudes, as convenient and useful categories. Culture traits 
do nor move about singly and in haphazard fashion like the molecules 
of a gas; they arc attached. or related, to one another in configurations of 
various kinds, and these con figu ratio us are interrelated forming an fnre- 
gmted whole Thus* we have clusters of traits such as those involved in 
grinding grain, taking m oath of office, riding a horse, making s pint, 
honoring mic T s parents, suing for divorce, throwing dice, calculating rise 
area of 3 field, treating an illness, worshiping a god, uttering a magical 
■,pdh tying one's shoe, drinking coffee, aud so on. Every culture trail is 
a. coniprutclie of a svstem w Jurher of 4 model of culture in general or 
of a particular and actual cultutc- Particular cultures vary among 
themselves in specific form ami content, bur all arc alike in general re¬ 
spect^ i.e., ail hive tools, language, customs, beliefs, muric r etc. AtiJ 
every cultural ftyaern functions as a means of relating man to the earth 
and cosmos* and as a means of relating man ro mam I hr science uf cub 
ture will therefore concern itself with the structure and function uf cul¬ 
tural systems* 

Diffurimi of cutter*. Although culture tmits always cxbt as components 
of a system, some, ir least, may pmpagaie themselves from «>ne system 10 
another. Thus, tapu ftaboo), a Phi lynword, Itecumes incorporated 
into the English language; rhe use of tobacco has entered unc system dter 
another until it is virtually world-wide; the horsey and firearm^, were 
Incorporated into cultures of Plains Indian tribes, t he transiTu-ninn of 
culture tfiritt from one system to another is called diffusion. It is a proven 
that takes place readily and is a phenomenon of widespread occurrence. 
As someone lias said v culture is contagious. Culture may diffuse as single 
traits, such as die incorporation of tjpii into the English language; ^ 
dusters* or complex?*, as they ate frequently called, of traits, such as 
baseball, Christianity* or agriculture; or the transfer might lake place on 
such m extensive *cale .v- virtually to swamp or obliterate the receiving 
system, us, for example, the adaption of European culture by ce renin 
atorigirui! tribes nf North America* Africa, or Polynesia- Use science 
of culture will deal* therefore, with these migrations of culture front 
system to system and from place to place, and with the changes taking 
place in systems os a result of thc^e diffusions 

Evolution of culture. Culture undergoes another kirn! of change. ^01 
4 developmental or evolutionist process of change. Evolution may be Je- 


fined os * temporal sequence of font* one %nTg«>w* 0«t of pother, 
culture advances from one stage to irt.ither. in this process time is JS 
KKnd a factor as change of fonn. The evolutionist process « .rrcvctubfe 
and non repetitive. Onlv systems can evolve; a mere aggregation of dungs 
widtom^anic unity «nnor undergo evolution. Culture may djffu* 
piecemeal, as we lave seen, bur only a systematic organization of cultural 

elements can evolve. . , „„ 

The con cep r. or theory, of evolution is applicable to my cultura] »vs- 

tern, whether ir he our model of the culture of mankind w a whole, of the 
culture of any people, group of people. or area m fo far at it can ptfipcrly 
be regarded at a syitcnt, or to those portions of the total cultural system 
that can he treated as subsystems, such as technology, social organization, 
or philosophy. or to even finer subdivisions such as wnnng. currency, 
the plow, Gothic architecture, geometry, °r the theoryr of reincarnation. 

T he evolutionist process h like die historical, or diffusion^, procce 
in that both ire temporal, and therefore irreversible aid nonrepetmve. 
But rhey differ in that the former is nmnothetic m character, whereas 
the latter is idtogmphic. The historic process is particularizing; the ev¬ 
olutionist proved generalizing. History is concerned with pamcular 
events, unique in rime and place. Evolution is concerned with classes of 
thincs and events, regardless of particular time and place. To lie sure, 
the evolutionisr process always takes place somewhere and m a temporal 
continuum, but the particular time md the particular place are not sig¬ 
nificant. It is the temporal sequence of forms that counts. Hie . rt 7 f < ” 
Waterloo or the assassination of l.inctdn are defined and delimited by 
temporal and spatial coordinate*. This is not the care with such develop¬ 
mental sequences as picture, rebus, and alphabetic writing, or si tine, cop* 
per, bronze, and iron. Here ir is the sequence of forms, the one growing 
out of another, irrespective of particular time and place, that is sigtiif- 

icant ,* 1 , , 

It follows from the foregoing that culture may be regarded as a mm 

or as a many, as an nit-inclusive system—the culture of mankind as a whole 
—or m an indefinite number of subsystems of tw o different kinds: 
ft) the cultures of peoples or regions, and (a) subdivisions rech as writ¬ 
ing, mathematics, currency, metallurgy, social organization, ere. Math¬ 
ematics. language, writing, architecture, social organization, etc., may 
each be considered as a one or 4 many, also; one may work our the ev¬ 
olution of mathematics as a whole, or 1 number of lines of development 

11 \Uny jmhiopolnjjisn hive confused tlicw nvo processes, but they ire funda¬ 
ment illy different Sre the author* e^*y “Hwrotv. Kmlutioftism and Fangtomasuu 
Three Ttp*» of Jnicrpretatiiio of Culture," /tuw of Antbr^BV>g?i 

vtil. I. |jp. m-H«. !<Hf. tn<l A. L. Kiwbef'i reply, “Hmmy and Evnlunw. ,btd ' 

r&l. i + pp, i-If. 194^ 


may Ik distitlgukhed, 33 Evolutionist interpretations of Culture wiU there¬ 
fore be both unilinear and multilinear. One type of interpretation h 4S 
valid w the other; each implies the otto, 

NontmpuTiilr f&rrrtji-fmicti&Hjlhi studies. Tilt culrurobgist may con¬ 
cern himself with tlse way si Cultural system h organized and with the 
wav it behaves without reference to time, either to liktory or to evolution. 
In this his concern is with the structure and functions of a cultural 
system. This is to say, l»c will he interested in die component parts— 
tedmoJogicat, sordid, and ideological —*ti a scsiem, and how they arc 
related to cadi other structurally and functionally. And his point uf 
view will be nnmempurah or synchronic, rather than diachronic, ix.. 
historical or evolutionist. Anthropologist* who have I wen identified with 
this point of view have been termed A. R- RadefifTc* 

Brown and Bronislaw Malinowski have been outstanding exponents of 
this type of inttrpretafion of culture . 33 

Thus we sec that the science of culture includes three distinct types 
of interpretation: evolutionist, formdhfiinctiotiid, and temporal 3 * In this 
respect culturology Is like science everywhere* un the physical and hi- 
ofogicat levels as well as upon the cultural. Whether one engages in ev¬ 
olutionist, formal-functional, or historical studies of culture will, uf course, 
depend upon hts objective or inclination; they arc ail equally v-did kinds 
of inquiry and interpretation, 

PJati of this wrrt, A complete and adequate account of rhe evolution 
of culture would embrace it in its enttrery* from anthropoid kveb to the 
present rime. This would indeed be a tremendous task, and we shall not 
undertake it in tills volume. Instead, we shall carry our story only as far 
as the collapse of the Roman state, ix., to the end of the era of the gre-it 
Bronze and Iron Ace cultures. In a subsequent w r ork we shall trace the 
development of modem civilization from tint fall of Rome to the present 

"Ilia utolym pr&cnn rlw counts thar are logically po^iblc. ft dot* not follow, 
however, that the application uf the theory of e^'dlittKm will he equally fruitful ur 
owenmgfol m all -cm. Ai ■ nLirtcf of fact, it might out he posable to work out a 
mcmingful tvoluriunk ifttirpreiatiftti m «itk uirtiUica Wc hare Mjtt no acceptable 
unilinear theory of the evolutUKi uf language, or of thr human family. Bur this duel 
pot nicw that die dwory of evoLuuon ii$e!jf b invalid. It means merely that cerrain 
sLQjiti and orgmcMtitini of phenomena do not lend [licmcivti to mciningfal inter- 
pretatkiu in ttmw uf this riicoiy, 

^Raymond Ftrrh. Mcytr Farted IHtyU Fordc, and ethers of the Brians *ehuot 
of "sociil utrbrupology' of [he 19^ liiO exemplify this point of view. 

“See: iltc author * May “Science k Sdefid fig," an The Scieir* W Culture > *rtd "Hii- 
iftr) 1 . Evolutionhm, and Kiirtcriiwialiiru: Three 1 ypea of fjcitcfpjrctatiuEi of CuI iuft< 
jdjxad v cittJ, for a more exteodve treatment of this subject. 


We sliall divide the present work into rwo parts, the first, Primitive 
Culture, and the second. The Agricultural Revolution and (is Ginse- 
cjuenits. The first pun tvill deal with that vast era in which cultural sys¬ 
tems were activated almost exclusively by human energy and were de¬ 
pendent upon wild foods. The second part will treat of the cultivation of 
plants and the domestication of animals, and of the institutional changes 
brought about bv the development of agriculture and animal husbandry. 
In j ^iih>eluent volume u-c shall deal with the Fuel Revolution and its 
institutional consequences. 

Culture is * many-sided phenomenon, and although one can envisage 
its evolution as a whole, it is necessary in any detailed treatment to trace 
sis course of development in its several aspects, one by one. This sliall 
be nur procedure in both Parts One and Two, first tie shall sketch the 
evolution of culture from the standpoint of technological development. 
Our reasons for giving this aspect priority over others have l«en set 
forth in ivital we have had to say of the relit itu vtiitpi obtaining between 
one sector of culture and the others: the technological sector is die basis 
upon which oil others rest, am! it h here that die motive power that uc- 
tivatc', cultural systems is generated and applied. NVxt, we shall trace the 
development of culture in its social, political, economic, and philosophic 
aspects . respectively. At the end of each era. however, we shall try 10 
form .1 picture of the proct^ of cnltui.i) development as a whole. 


Everything in rhe universe may be described in terms of matter and 
energy, nr. mate precise!) , bt terms of energy. Whether we arc dealing 
with galaxies with their millions of blazing sells, a uny aiosn with its 
tightly packed nucleus and darting electrons, ,i single living cell at a 
complex multicellular organism, nr with a society of anis, apes, or men* 
we are confronted with a dynamic material system, one that can he de¬ 
scribed and made intelligible in terms of energy magiiifades and trans¬ 
formations, Energy" is the basic artd universal concept of science. 
“Through the various ideas of phlogiston, imponderable fluids, attrac¬ 
tions* repulsions, affinities, and forces, science has ended with the simple 
universal conception of energy,^ as the eminent British physicist Fred¬ 
erick Soddy observed many yceits Ago. 1 

According to r]ic second Uw of thcmiodynamtcxy the universe k break¬ 
ing down structurally and mmung down dynamically; re-, ir k moving 
in the direction of lesser degrees of order md toward a more untfoun 
distribution of energy. The logical conclusion of this trend k a rmifnrm 
random sratc T or chaos. 

In a tiny sector of the eosirms, however, we hud a movanent in the 
opposite direction, In the evolution of living mute rial spitim, matter hc- 
comes more highly organized and energy is raised from lower to higher 
levels of concentration. This d*>ci not mean tint Living beings constitute 

1 Frederick Soddy* At mu? end Energy < f foote TJmvtrvcy Serif?, Oxford Unutmty 

birtflrai, r^iti [K tijt. 

"The jinntiplci of iheraieiilynamki utrf fira formuljTcd m their moJern farm 
by die finnun ph^mcitt R. J. £. Lliiuiui {iBxi-tSBS}., in iBjo. The GrW Saw tj the 
*o- ciJi!i n ^f at crm^:n r (miQn tjf eiM’r^y* which in Otar *hf (OTal UTkirmr 

energy tn the cotanot n i coiwiin. CbtisiuV famuil jiuitij of the hnt a ad wceod 
U^\ art if foEln-wn: "T)ic Lnerpe dcr Welt tfl ec?i:itanr. Die Iliumpit der Wch 
itrebt cincm .Maximum *iT [The energy of the world, or dhow*, h conujnr. Uw 
rutrnpj- i j itu them a mil fctor which a a mczmtt of the trairailahlf energy m t 
thcrmodyiumie system) td the worJd. or cosmos, tenets* or uiireiH mwird ■ nmt- 
nminl. Quoted from Clausius' Mtebaabtb* iV&mttbmfc, AMmaJ. «, S 44. by 
J HUkrd Gihbi in hrs furTKiut monogirph, H Ofi the £f|rnlihriitfrt of l-fetenrgmer^r? 
Substance*.* Trjm&tihm pf the Cmmeakut A&tdtmy of Arts juJ Sptatrei, ™L > T 
P- 108* 

54 M UMU tt fl GOtHm 

on exception to the second law. Animate organisms are able to move in 
a direction opposite to that specified by the law of entropy only because 
thev are able to draw upon free energy outside themselves and incor¬ 
porate it within their own systems. All life, ns the Austrian physicist Lud- 
wig Boltzmann f rfl-w-i^ort) pointed out long ago. is a straggle for free 
energy * AH living beings—t™ our planet at Iri^f—arc dependent upon 
entrev derived from The sun. Plants obtain energy directly from the sun 
through radiation and mnsform if into organic compounds by the process 
of photosynthesis- All animals live directly or indirectly upm solar energy 
Stored up by plants. Thus, all living organisms are thermodynamic fvs- 
Torn which arc both expressions and results of a movement tow ami higher 
concentrations of energy and greater organization of matter. The process 
tiuc is life is sustained* perpetuated p and in some instance* developed 

by energy from the sum* a ^ 

But, to be precise* the life process, In irs maintenance in the lndmdimJ 
uranism am! in its development in orders, phyla, genera, and species, 
is nor merely a matter of capturing ijuMitics of energy and of incor¬ 
porating them within Jiving systems to take the plnte of like quantities 
that have been expended in the process of living, Tn m adult organism 
the energy concent is a constant, and since one calorie is worth as much 
as another, a mere exchange would bring no advantage. 6 What is it, then* 
duu sustains the life process and makes possible its evolutionary develop¬ 

Schrbdbgcr gives us the answers by drawing negative entropy irom 
its environment "A living organism continually increase* its entropy" 
he sap, "and rhus tend* to approach the d«mgcrous state of um±irniim 
entropy, which is death. It can only keep aloof from ifi i.e. T alivc r by 

"Ludwig Brolrtmami, ‘'Der ewsrite KoiifAtt dst mcchauisrheti WirmttHcnrie** in 
pistHitirc Scbrifrirn. pp. ^40 And cothy: "Use whale web of life is,--» 
fCTUTj^k for toe energy, whether Jr be b«w«n shrub aid met for ? plice in the 
run. between i locum Vnd * ribbir to die rn&rgy-viieldiiiff earnpminds of leaves, <Jt 
licmem lion *ml d^rr far ihe flesh of mcl oiTdopc- Free energy ill living things must 
r Ralph W, Gerard. Unresting Cell*. Helper & Brother*, New Vnrlt. 

p. =og B 

* ^AnfhrojKfgetiy likewise harrows from ehemUny* physics and physiology the very 
fetsk ptiatipift thar man, like other orgamsnu, i* a tore of wbr engrne thac runs 
by me nm of the energy pored up in plant: and animal food. It foliirw* that this po- 
icniial energy fnrmi ■ hidden pmfi of great worth, to rohiain which aH inimal life 
tmtggles ttijctaiinpEy. Hmee iJse drama of teircxtriil cvulutiirt h motivated by the 
compliedv ramifying competition md strife for food and for reproductive most; 
chk principle ropenrtft *S strongly in thf! latest JUgr* of life at it did in dir eifbesr, 
VIIIHam K. Grefpiry* "The New jWfiiopojeny: Twtnty-G™ Sf^gti of Vertebrate 
grolurkm, from Silurian Chonlatc to Man," Science, vd. 77, p. jo, 

c are follow htg here rfic aru^iTicm of Emn SehniSdmgcf a set forth to TV hit 
tr Life? Cambridge Unto toy Prate, New York ??' 7*^7*- 



continually drawing from its environment negative entropy..♦. What 
an organism feeds upon 65 negative cm ropy' 1 f It continually “sucks order li- 
ncs* from its environmenT... irt die case of higher amind* we know the 
kind of orderliness they feed ujion wdl enough* vj^ the extremely well- 
ordered state of mi iter in more ur less complicated organic compounds, 
which serve than as foodstuffs. After utilising it they return it in a very 
much degraded form— nut entirely degraded, however, for plants can 
still make me of ir. (These, of course, have their most powerful supply 
of "negative entropy' in the sunlight.}"* 

Sdirodinger* emphasis is upon order, upon greater or lesser degrees 
of order!in t^s. liur the process of life cart be described in terms of energy, 
also. A living organism is a structure through which energy fliJWfi p enter¬ 
ing the system at higher potentials and leaving it at lower potentials. 1 
A living organism is thus a mechanism that is operated by a downward 
flow of energy * much as a water wheel is turned by a stream fin wing 

Living systems are means of arresting, and even of revering, ihc cosmic 
drifr coward maximum entropy. Maintenance of life is achieved by off¬ 
setting the entropy produced by rhe very process of living with negative 
entropy obtained from the environment—by '"sticking orderliness from 
the environment." By obtaining more negative entropy from the environ¬ 
ment than the positive entropy produced by the process of living* j,c., 
by utilizing increasing amounts of energy as it flows through living sys¬ 
tems to build more complicated structures, rather than merely m main¬ 
tain the vital process living specie* may evolve. 

Tli us life and death alike receive their must profound and illuminating 
definitions in terms nf thermodynamics. The niainrcnsince of life is a 
continuous balancing of positive entropy wish negative entropy. The 
evolution of life is die ascendance of negative entropy Dying the losing 
battle to overcome positive entropy. Death Is the state of maximum en¬ 
tropy. of i]iermod)rnamicd equilibrium- 

Living material bodiev, like tnaniinate nuts rend to persevere in the 
motions proper to them indefinitely- their morions will lit termitiaicd only 
by op pos ift oo of one kind or a not her. Opposition to viral processes may 
conic from the external world* from the habitat of the organism; or it tmy 
originate within the organism itself. The ■fticularion of living organism 
with natural habitat involves a certain aitinum of weir smd tear upon 

pp. 7 a. 7j. 

w “ ., Energici fldw rfLmugh ifocir boJln... this ran take pbc c only in meh t 
way ifur the living organism raktu up cnrrgy of a higher potential iml giv« af tirF 
m i lower pdienriiL 1 ' Wilhclrr Oirwald. H Tht Rttaiirrtu nF Rinlugry ind the Neigh¬ 
boring U*Kt rriijr of CrffrtlwJ PnSlL^iumi tit Phy vul 1 , nu, 4 , 

P H* 


the organism as well os snmc tiur^ormatimi of Jwbitit. The life process 
thus crtcuunrers opposition or resistance at every point of contact with 
the external world And, of course, smite outride force may kill jn organ¬ 
ism Instantly, as well as overcome it gradually. to certain habitat^ how¬ 
ever, fotnc specks wi0 continue rheir vied processes indefinitely. Some 
urga nhsrm perpetuate themselves endlessly by fission. T rets, am! even fish* 
ux are fold, tend to live forever; they are overcome only by outride 
force*. Some animal tissues will live indefinitely in certain kmdh of solil- lint in other sector of the animate world, the vital motion; ate 
gradually overcome by resistances arising within the organisiiis ibcm- 
>dve,. fn some species, the moving parts of the organism become ma¬ 
terially transformed with anc:; especially* it would appear, do they become 
less ehttic, thus overcoming, eventually* the momentum of rhe vital [mx> 
ess. Thus, r!ie life process is marked" by “jmmo reality't.e. P indefinite 
continuation—in some artM T and by the death of individuals and the 
extinction of specie^ in other sectors, 

[ t fa interesting to note xh.u living organisms arc organized and struc¬ 
tured as energy-capturing systems. The ''correlating apparatus Inf an 
orgjnkmi; 1 says Locks, ,v h primarily an energy-capruHt^g device—ixs 
other ftiticrium arc undoubtedly secondary. Evidence of this fa manifold, 
Tlie dose association of the principal organs* eyes, ears, nose, taste 
buds, ftrctidc p.ipiltit of the ringer tips, with the anterior (head) end of 
the body, the month end, all point the same lesson, which ts further con¬ 
firmed by the absence of any well developed sense organs in pUnts- 1 
The second law of thermodynamics ihm throws light upon the jr/rwcfurc 
of living systems vs well a* upon the nature of the process called life. 

The life process tends to augment itself. The ability to take the first 
scep—thc transformation of matter and energy from tmmntfltt to living 
sy?. reins—is also the ability to take the next step* anti the next. Once thti 
lisecfvmiMii of tijmsfunnint* energy from the sun into living material sys¬ 
tems was effected the way was opened for an almost unlimited expansion 
of the life process; the only limit is rhar of rhe earth's capacity ro uccnm- 
modirc living beings, for ihc amount of available solar energy b virtually 

Hie life process extends itself in two ways: ft) by the mere multi pUca- 
don of numbers through reproduction; and, (i) by the development of 
Jiighcr forms of life. In sonic spcdcs the rate of reproduction fa enormous, 
ihou*and% of offspring per pair. Here we have m example of the estenwon 
of the Life process in its merely <|U;imitJtivc aspect: the tendency to Erotic 
form av much of the external world ai possible into organisms of th* 

‘Alfred } Lttki, Ebnmmt of Fhyp&tl B£ol&&y* The Williams it WiULms Oon* 

pany* Baltimore,, i^iy, p. $$ 4 * 



species in question. "Every living being/' observes Bertrand Russell, "is 
a sort of imperialist, necking to transform as much av possible of die en¬ 
vironment into itself arid it* seed/** [it other sectors of the biological 
world, however, we find a development of higher forms of Life, t.e,., 
greater ^rriscmral organization and higher concent rations of energy. 
Biological evolution might he defined js the progress of energy" orgim- 
L7Jticm moving in a direction opposite to licit specified for the cosmos 
by rhe second Jaw of rhcmiodvnamics, Animnb are more highly de¬ 
veloped thermodynamic systems than plants; mammals, more highly 
developed than reptiles, "A change that seems often to lie involved in 
progress [in biological evolution]/" says Simpson, increase in rhe 
general energy or maintained level of vital processes. * ** The merabolic 
system of reptiles his a low vital minimum-.-. 'Tlie mammalian system 
(typically) has a higher vital minimum.... With regard to energy level, 
mammals as a whole stand near but not quite at the top among orumaln 

among vertebrates, the LardIs exceed them- J ' u ' 

Thus we ice tint the ^If-jugmennition of rhe process that is life finds 
expression in two wap: (l) in die multiplication of organisms, a merely 
quantitative change; and (z) in the development of higher forms, a qual¬ 
itative change, Ordering rhe .1 climate world as a whole, there appears 
to be an inverse functional relationship between these two ways in which 
tile life process extends itself: the lower the form of Life, the greater the 
tendency toward, iclf-cxtcadrm in a quantitative manner, by mere re¬ 
production of numbers. Conversely P the more highly developed the form 
of life, the ley? is the tendency toward numerous offspring. 

The snuggle for existence and survival his two aspects: (t) the atb 
justitirnt uf the organism rn its habitat in terms of temperature. humidity, 
radiation, subsistence. etc.; md (a) the struggle with other Living beings 
for subsistence and favorable Itabitats. In this struggle, in both its aspects, 
M the advantage mast go to those tirganbins whose energy-capturing de¬ 
vices are most efficient." 11 Any gains w on sre kept. The tendency of the 
life process is always to achieve a maxirmjiu of matrer-and<nrrgy emus- 
formation. 15 This is true regardless of whether the energy is expended 

# Bertrand RtuseJI, rtdknaphji XV, W. Nerma £ Company, foe, 1^17. p 27- 
W G. G. SEJiipjfirt, Th* Minting iff Ewhiioth Vale UnrVcnrtY Fn^ New Haven, 

Ctrnn,, 1949, pp. irt-itf. 

* Alfred }. “The La* of Evulurfon n j MmnuL Principle." 

voL i/ t (w 1 $$ w mhJ. 

. Ntc&ral selection will m operate u 10 inciraj* the foul muss of The nrfanic 
fijTttro, fo increase rhe rate of dfttdltk* sif matter through rhe iptcm, md in la- 
ereiK the nitd energy hat iheouph the wsitiTt, w hang *.1 there if presented an 
umuilked residue of nutter md jviIWMi energy" Al/rcd J. L mH r "Cocxwh&fcm to 
she £*cri;eiJLT of LvuLuuun/ frartftffap of the NxtitmM AaJrmj Stinurtt. 
wi » H p. 146, rpu* 

3g primitive: cultlae 

t maBguci vdy in mm of numbers of organisms or m the 
development of higher forms of living systems. 

To understand man in particular we must unJe-sumd living rmccrud 
systems in general. As we to just seen, the second law of therms 
d'vn^mics contributes greatly to riie understanding of die process that 
we call life: it illuminiues its structure, its functions, and its de velopment. 
And this law wilt hdp us to undersomd culture also; die fundamental 
Significance of culture cannot be grasped or appreciated without recourse 

10 this great mineralization uf physics. . 

Man," kite all other living beings, is confronted with the problem of 
adjustment to habitat in terms of subsistence, protection from die elements, 
and defense from enemies. In order to effect these adjustments and 10 
perpetuate his kind, man, like all other creatures, must capture and utilize 
energy. Self-exteiuJon. self-augmentation of the life process, finis ex¬ 
pression in the luumin species'as well as in othets. in short, man is oc¬ 
cupied with adjustment to and control over his environment, and with 
competition with other species (or the means of existence, survival, and 
expansion. This means b energy'. 

Man employs die organs of lib body in the process of adjustment to 
anti control over hh environment, as do other animals* Hut in addition w 
ihc^c $ornatologiciil mechanisms* man* and man alone, possesses * 
orate estrasomatic mechanism which ht employs in the process of living. 
This esftrascimatic media ilium, this traditional organization of tools, cus¬ 
toms* language, belief*, etc,, we have culled ttdwr*- 

A culture, or ^Kinculiural system. 1 * h a material* artd therefore a 
system* Culture Is ;m organization of things in motion, 
a process of citergv ttansfonuamms* Whether it he chipping an Arrow - 
head, catching a fish, hodftg a hill of bean*. avoiding your mother in law, 
calling your "fathers sister* son “father / 1 performing a ntiiul playing 
a game, regarding a ehuriiiga with auc, or breathing a silent prayer* the 
event fs an expression of energy expended * 11 “Culture 11 is but the name o! 
the form in w hich the life forces of man as a human being find expression. 
it is an organization of energy transformatious that is depenciciir upon 

symboling, * 

' The principles and law's of thermodynamics are applicable to cu]rural 
systems as they arc to Other material systems. The “laws expressing die 
relations between energy and matter arc not solely of importance in pare 

* We define wrwcidmtff fjf#mn hi the culture possessed hy my disMjtfJriuhk 

group uf jscnplt. . M 

«D«viil Hum*, Grieve Lecturer m PhysiologicaJ Oitmtatry it the utuvemfy <n 
Glasgow, repoiti on eipcrimcrtn in which the airtfiunti of energy required it* give 
lectures vrere manned, tJi r mcasravifieitti being expr&ied in rnadiemaiic-u iemti 
See /f» iniTvdustien fO Bfapbyrki, I9»i p> J 3 ^ 


science fi e., phrdcsf/' say* Soddy* "they necessarily come first m order 
,., (71 j&r irbo/e U'tuTii of fmmm and lAwy <rfrwfG/ p m the 

S.isr resort, the rise ami fall of poirfieal sy items, the freedom or bondage 
of nirtims, the movements of commerce and industry , the origin of ueu/ffi 
and poverty, and the general physical wifare of the race I tallies fu jv 
pticdj* l+,fi Schrixlinger, like Soddy a Nabd-Prize^wmnlng physicist, is 
‘'convinced Thar this Law | i.e,* rhe second law of ihcrmodynumicsl gov¬ 
erns all physical and chemical processes, gycti if they refill in the most 
intricate and tangled phenomena, such as organic life, the genesis of ft 
complicated world of organisms from primitive beginnings, land] rhe 
rise and growth of hunuxn cultures/' M Other physicists stud chemists, 
like Joseph Henry in the United States and Wilhelm Oswald in Germany* 
have contributed to the development of the energy' theory of cultural 
development 17 

As we noted In die preceding chapter, culture Is produced by man and 
therefore derives ir> generic waiurc from its source. Since the fundamental 
process *iF man ^ an organism b the capture and utilization of free energy* 
it follows rhat this must he the bade function of culture also: die harness¬ 
ing of energy and putting h w work in the service of tn ait And since 
culture, as an extrasnmafic |A tradition, may be treated logically as a 
distinct and autonomous kind of system, we may interpret the evolution 
of culture in terms of rhe same principles of thcrrttcKiymmiCS that arc 
applicable to biological syttCKtUL 

Cultural systems, like biological organisms. expend the energy' that Is 
captured and harnessed 111 Kclf-etfension as well of self-maintenance, I ike bi¬ 
ological organisms, cultural syrods extend fhtnneLra both quantitatively 
and qualitatively. Cultural systems extend thcrmdmquantitatively by mid- 
tipli cation or reduplication p Le.* peoples multiply, tribes divide, forming 
new tribes and therefore new ^odnculturaj systems Cultural systems 
expand rjtlalhativtly by developing higher forms of organisation and 
greater concentrations of energy, 1 ® [degree of organizarion in any material 

“ Snldy, np. eif.f pp, eo-m. 

’■fjTi'in $cfa rodin ger, the J'crnprrMmem t Cicurgc Alien & 

Unwin*^ London, 193& p. 1$. 

■’See Leslie A. White, 'The &WJJ) Theory of Cultural IJmlnpnnu." in Frt> 
frtt&t Gburye Feticitutfan Veiitrnt, k M, Kipjdti imL!, io?*, pj, i-s, (» * hnef 
history of this theory. 

“Alfred J. Lotka the term "Movomarie—he *pc*ki of c*D*omi[k erotic 
don/ 'The Lew of Ernlutinra an a Mitlmal Principle/ Httmin Bhtogj, voL 1% p, 

>■& Wf* -• * 

-lf t however, the process of mlrimil derclopmew merm m a duwrinn opposite 

rn time ipcciicd for the cronot as i whole by rhe tccond tan- of fhefTttodvntmki, 
rhe operation of culiure within the system of m±mr b in perfect accord with the 
cosmic process. In 1he process of utii bring the energy that it harntm cufmie re- 


system b proportional w the amount of energy’ incorporated id jr As 
JL amount ofenergy harnessed by soeioaiiturid systems increases per 
me aim «« I 6... , in size, but become more 

more specialized JU ij«.---- —- . ■ 

illustrated as we survey the evolution of culture m general. 

Culture, as a ihcrniodvrumic system, may be analyzed inro the follow- 
injr factors: energy, too!?, and product. As "t have seen, culture *> a 
mechanism for serving the needs of mam And to do this it must Ijamfe. 
energy and put it to work. The use of energy requires techno!, ^sd 
annSim. and we may extend the use of the tenu too I* m overall the 
nSterial means with which energy is harnessed, cgnsfomitd, an d « 
pended. We shall designate all good, and mipaMc of ^ri^ 

the needs of man that have been produced or formed by the enhura! vw: 
of enerev. the pro Auer. Thus, arching fish. shooting game, making £- 
mtTXig Mr. piercing ears for pendants, filing teeth forb«*£ 
ake. weaving doth, and a thousand and one other^ cultural proc«s«are 
examples of She control and expenditure of energy- by ‘'^n.mental mram 
in order to serve some need of mam We may, then, thmk of the culture 
process in terms of motive power, means of expression, and satisfaction 
of need- Tliis conception con he expressed by a ample formula, £ X 
— P in which E represents the energy involved, T the technological 
means of utilizing it. and ?, the product or result which serves a need of 

m Bv ntrgy we mean ‘the ability to do work.” ..Energy and work 
are interchangeable terms." says Soddy;* one is defined in terms of the 
(l fher. Thus, a stone is moved from here rn there. Or ns shape is changed 
by chipping or Grinding. Energy' is expended; work b done. EdCTg has 
b!rth quantitative and qualitative, or formal, nspcc&. QmmtitativcK, 
oicrgy is measurable in terms of definite and standard units, such as ergs, 
calorics. British thermal units, etc. One magnitude of energy may there¬ 
fore Ik compared with mother. Qualitativel y, energy is manifested 

duces it from higher to lower level* of coetcentretiem, ennintMiring o. » 

distribution of energy in the «***»■ Tit- food * and 

heat and wnrls and rofawd m lower Isvili of organization, t-c-, to inorg anic it- - 
In the burning of coal and ml. energy 9 tnmsfnrmwf from compare. ci»nc<atn 
/ormt to loose and more diffuse forms- And in litnieamg th* ° *™ ( i,L 

*SL enerev m e™ mere «m««rm«l fett h rrle^d end diffused. Thu*, 
lint fpBtrti thn h culture, we find j movement and « direcufui oppo«« » "™ 
radiied for rise c«mhkh by the wood Uw Hat in relation to die «** «*** 
odtore a bur * mem* of fuitbremg the trend described by iKis law. The 
procre* « therefore bur in influiiesiinaUy dny eddy in the cosmic flow of W" 5 ** 

-Soddy, op ci, p. if. 

Emm A>'0 TOO 1=5 41 

great variety of forms: numic* molecular* ttc!lar< galactic, cellular, and 
metazoan, as well a* cultural. From the standpoint of cultural systems, 
solar radiation, plants, animals, wind, water in motion, fuels of various 
kinds, molecules, and atoms are significant forms of energy, significant 
Eiccaase it is in these forms that they ate, nr may be. incorporated into 
cultural systems. It is understood, of course, that energy is neither created 
nor destroyed; it h merely transformed, Cultural system* operate, there¬ 
fore, onEv by ha rucking energy 1 in one form or another, and by trans¬ 
forming ir in The production of human need-serving goods and services. 

Cultural systems vary as means 0/ harnessing energy; some arc more 
efftettve than others They may \*e compared in terms of coefficients 
derived by relating amount of energy - hamased and expended in a given 
period of time to the number of human beings embraced by the system. 
Thus one cultural system may harness and use * units of energy per capita 
per year, =1 another* jJt, or to*- The tiguiJrcancc of this coefficient lies, of 
course, in die relationship between amount of energy harnessed- on the 
one hand, and the number of h uman beings whose needs arc 10 l>e served, 
on the other. The individual litinun being thus constitutes the unit in 
terms of which human need h measured and serves, therefor*, as the con¬ 
stant again*! which varying quantities of energy arc measured Thus, we 
can compare culture in it frits of amount of energy harnessed and 0- 
pended per capita per year. Or u c ran nuke our cympatisons in terms of 
ptnirr, the rate of doing work* and ebsufy cultures in terms of horse- 
power per capita- 

The source of energy with wJitch cultural system* were activated at 
the very beginning of intmind-culrurc history to of course, the human 
organism. The energy wirh which wok, beliefs, custom^ rifuali, and 
sentiments were tint organised into a functioning system was derived from 
man hln&elf; he was. so fo speak, rlie power plant that supplied the first 
cultural systems with their motive power. Die amount of energy tie- 
livable by a cultural system from thb source ii nf course small. An average 
idiilf man is capable of generating about oriMenrh of one hnrscpou \?r, 
or 75 watts, Ilur the power cocffidrnr of a cultural system deriving all 
its energy from human organisms would not be 0.1 horsepower per capita, 
by any means. When everyone b considered* males and females of all 
ages from helpless infants to the old and feeble, the sick and crippled, 
riie average would t*c much less, possibly no more than 0.05 horsepower 

“ When ’Jrc dcaJ with cutoff* m rerrra cf tragnitudet of energy- harmed ind 
pi IE Ln xirt Vi-c must ipeeifv the pertud nf time during whkil calic* [\hcc L 
dnee inagn truck vartci with length of time. We urtra a ytur m our ufEif *Jif timr 
beejuw, in idctirion to being CTnrvmiciir and c*iy m *wlt wfch, h embrace* a aim- 
plcfc cyctr of the md lienee thu whale gamut of die routine sedtitics t>F 

«iy oiltunl ivstem, If, however, we deal with cultures in rrrmi of horsepower, do 
tune perwMl need be specified sineu huTKpower it the rate of doing mark 

4i nnunw cut-rua* 

per capita » since the immirn of human need-serving goods tad service 
nrahiced is proportional to the amount of energy hamewed. or 1 orse- 
Lwer aenerft JTper capita, other foctws remaining constant, a eitlmrd 
W activated by energy dented frum the human 
Xuid represent the minimum in the range of cipnties of cultural sys- 
temh From the standpoint, then, both of energy, or power, pet capita 
and amount of human need-serving goods and serves pmiluLxd pci 
capita, cultures tint have the energy of human c-rgamam only. under ther 
control and it their disposal for use in the semce of human need*, are 

jt rhe botuim of ihe isziz- . , , k 

There ii room for variation among cultural systems activated by human 
energy alone. In our formula ExT^F.E. the energy factor, may vary 
withdiilv cleric consumption, T, the tool factor vanes with degree o 
efficiency. Quite apart from natural habitat, therefore, «inch varies nm 
tribe to (tribe and from place to place, we are confronted with vururiW 
of cultural systems. Amount of energy iuirnesscJ per capita per year iv 
the basic factor in this situation! (he oilier two arc meaningless w no - 
distent without it Without energy, tools would be meaningless, no 
work would be done, no product brought forth, The energy factor pro¬ 
vides us. therefore, wkh an objective and meaningful yardstick tvitii 
which tu measure these, and all other, cultures. A culture is high nr low 
depending upon the amount of energy harnessed per capita per year. 
Ai bottom, then, cultural development is the process of increasing t 
amount of energy harnessed and put to work per capira per year, together 
with all the consequences attendant upon this increase, 

111 order to form a conception of primordial cultural systems based upon 
and activated by energy drawn from the human organism alone, tint 

”The r,f energy ■bar thr I,™ oifiwa n is «p*Uk of. 

depend largely upon the iood^uergy Mmrally ivc do not W bgafesl« 

the diet of primordial man. nor even adequate daw for pr=.^nr djj pudueMt* p< P . 
We do, however, have (Min for modem .utianr, Th. range within th 

amnunt of food energy e/wuumed j»cr capita per diem variei » nuen=ting * 
rigniiicain. upee Lilly with respect to animal promm 

Daily Food Supply per Capita 

All foods 
r calcine) 

Percentage of 
United Siam 

Aitiiiut jtftarcm* 

PefeoHMgc of 
Unired Stain 

UfLLttd Statrt 



l M 



... J,*7l 










*.i 14 



forth ***,»*-. 





i tes 




Source: Form foifr h a mlmwgtvptM imMkwkn oi ihc U-S, Department of 

W. P' 


could examine some of the culture* of modern dines having gtucricaHy 
similar technological fmmdadons, such as chose of fhc Tasmanians, the 
Oira, various pygmy groups, and so nn. 3t To be Mice, technological and 
environmental factors bath operate to produce cultural differences quite 
apart from source and magnitude of energy harnessed. hut we shall ded 
with these factors later, Bur however much modem cultures, based upon 
human energy alone, may vary in specific detail, all arc dike fn one respect 
and that a fundamental one: all arc extremely limited in their ability to 
exercise control over the external world, in their ability to produce human 
need-serving goods per unit of human labor- Sociologically they are all 
simple, ic., relatively undifferentiated structurally And their philosophies 
—their systems of knowledge and belief-arc likewise simple and unde¬ 
veloped. We have every reason to believe rhat rhe earliest cultures of 
mankind were of the same general type as che cultures of modem times 
that haw had only the energy of human bodies at their disposal, although 
the latter might be more highly developed technologically. And wc may 
be equally sure that cultural development would never have gone beyond 
a certain level, and that a low one. had nor some way been found to har¬ 
ness additional amounts of energy per capita per year. Mankind would 
have remained in 3 condition of savagery in definitely had not an increase 
of lib available energy resources been made possible. Cultural systems arc 
not developed by Mtdligence, high ideals, and earnest endeavor alone, 
as faith is supposed to move mountains; they must have energy -is, wc 
suspect, tnbumain moving must have also. 

Siimc ijualifk'iitjtin of uur sratcroenK regarding rite source of energy 
for trie earliest of culm res should be made. The human organism was The 
principal source for all rhe earliest systems and rhe only source for many- 
There was, however, another source open ra some, namely, flowing 
water. Even the most primirivc j*coples could float materials downstream 
instead of casing them. Ekit water pnu r cr is ircdgnifiotm in the course 
of cTilrural development until rhe Iron Age or even later, It is relatively 
imignificant even today. 

Winds were available also m the most primitive peoples, but they had 
no means to harness them and use rheir energies. On higher cultural levels 
winds become significant as a source of energy rn watercraft equipped 
with sails. Mechanical power derived by means of windmills comes very 
late in culture history, and it has never* in any culture, been of much 

Many discussions of harnessing energy begin with a discussion—or 
rhapsody—of rirc. They often degenerate quickly, however, into minings 

ta Thc reader may he referred to George F Murdock** oxcrllcm Uonk Owr /v™- 
mv Curtirruparjrics, for dwriprirmt nf nihii ml fymzm adnted by hunutt 
tftdgy dune, » wc 11 a* tyuemi uf a higher order. 


about fire as a symbol of the home, the family fireside, venal virpns and 
whatnot Man unquestionably learned to use, and eten to make, bn vci> 
Cjriv in his ratter. Blit he did not use it extensively as a form of energy 
^or more precisely, as a means of doing work-untl the recent nm 
of the stJn engine: Fire may lie useful in keeping terra* l«* ^ 
from human habitations at night (although it would be t»\ to 
gemte its value in this respect), and it may constitute 4 P™*>£ 
in fainilv life and religious tittml But these uses of tire do not fall within 
the ihcmiodvnatnie context **** Even the use of fire in cooking ran 
hardly be put into an energy context licrau* the coring « not i b- 
uirurc for something that can be done by an expenditure of muscular 
cncreyi fire in tins instance cannot lie equated with muscular energy or 

a ' C <£ 7 Zi£™cW advanced cultural levels fire assume considerable im¬ 
portance in die ceramic art. in rhe firing of potter;-. AndI b'i!'« 
j evc k fi rc icquilt* gnat importance in the metal! urgi cal arts. ui the smcl 
fng of ores and in the processing of metals. Bui in neither of these contexts 
does fire function as energy in the sense in which we arc using the term. 
In pottery making and in metallurgy fire has an ttiftrumeatil i|mfiraiu.e, 
as it docs in cooking, it is a means of transforming mate rub. But u can¬ 
not be replaced by in expenditure of muscular energy*. Since, therefore, 
we cannot equate fit* in the ceramic and metallurgical arts with muscle 
pmver, wc do nnt consider it significant as a form of energy. 

There is, however, a very practical use to which fire may be pur as a 
form of energy by very primitive peoples. They may u* it ™ hollow « 
tree trunks in the manufacture of canoes. Here fire is substituted tor, and 
hence equated with, muscular energy. There is no known cultural >y- 
tern, however, in which energy w derived and used constitutes more 
than a rim fraction of rhe total amount employed. Fire is used also as a 
form of energy hv some peoples to clear land for planting. But when the 
agricultural level has been reached we ore already far advanced culturally 
and have in agriculture itself a method of harnessing energy compared 
with which this accessory* um of lire is utterly insignificant. 

We may* distinguish, then, as the first stage of cultural development 
an era in which the human organism itself was the principal source o 
energy* used by cultural systems, an era in which wind, water, and fi«, 
as sources of energy, were very insignificant indeed. This stage began 
with the origin of man himself; it ends with the domestication of animals 
(ruminants), nr the cultivation of plants or both. In duration of time 
absolutely, and relatively in proportion to the lengths of other periods 
in culture history, this Hmntan-cncrgy’' era is very impressive. If «e as¬ 
sume, as imrtv authorities do. that culture began one million years ago, 



and if we date the beginning of agriculture at about 10,000 yean agu* 3i 
then the human -energy stage of cultural development comprises some 
99 per cent of culture history xU\h fur. This fict b os significant as it is 

The era in which cultural systems derive all but a very Si trie of ihcir 
energy' from the human organism is characterised by another feature, 
namely* subsistence si holly upon wild food. Tliis gives us another con¬ 
venient and significant index of cultural development, and a category 
for the classification of cultures. 

When, man subsisted wholly upon wild foods he differed hut little 
from the lower fiiumak, who of course did likewise. True enough, he 
could cook his food, and this was unquestionably an important comd- 
era don in his survival. It would be possible ro exaggerate the importance 
of cooking however, as fias been done in the case of fire. While man 
subsi sted wholly up in wild foods be might be considered a wild aninul, 
at least in a sense. He is now- a domesticated animal, and it was the ag- ms primarily that brought about tlsc transition* domesticated 
turn k a by-product of agriculture. Here again we arc impressed with the 
tremendous duration of did wild-food stage as compared with subsequent 

The amount of energy' per capita per t ear obtainable by cultural sys¬ 
tems from human organisms is of course both small and limited. Unless 
cultural systems could add to this amount by tapping other sources, they 
could never hive developed beyond a certain level, and that a very tow 
one And as we have just sear, water, wind, and fire have proved insig¬ 
nificant as sources of usable energy on the lower levels of rechou logical 
development, Culture could not, and for ages on end did nor s develop 
beyond the limit thus set by the % Q horsepower, more or less, per capita 
Eventually, however, an effective way of augmenting energy- re^'urces 
for culture h lie [ding was found* namely, In the domestics fion of ftftbnvis 
and the cu|oration of plants; in short, by harnessing sokr energy in non- 
human biological form*. 

Plants and animals are, of course, forms and magnitude* of energy. 
Plants receive, transform, and store up energy received directly from the 
sun. Animals subsist, directly or indirectly, cm plants; all life depends* in 
the last analysis, on rhe process of photosynthesis performed by plants. 

■ V. Gaf&wi ChUde traffic date it about k m Hittorj, 

1^*6, p. t 7 - Hirwry, 1947, p 7; Ruben J + lalfaml it i.C., plut or mmui 9 flOO 
Vein, In f'tthiiioriff p, *9. The tendency hsa dnrnig lh~ Just reu 

dec to ihorrai thr era of fot*d ptoducthm by brfcigiiig the date of it* aright 
cloher tL- ’jllt Ciwn lime*. 


But are out wild pUnti anti animals forms and magnitudes of energy 
just ^ cultivated and domestic ones are? Yes. they are md«d. But here 
L must recall the fact that energy is not created or produced; it is merely 
transformed or controlled. Man is exploiting the energy resources o 
nature when he appropriates and eats a wild plant or arnmnl and wc may 
proper I v say ihar he is exercising control over tires* natural forces Bu 
LL* filing, and gathering are not forms of 

oniirnd energies^ thev arc merely acts uf appropriation and consumption 
To hjmeu a force is to lay hold of it, to direct and control it. so thack 
is not merely introduced into the cultural system but made an .mcgral pn 
of it. A flowing stream is a form and magnitude of energy. But apart 
from floating materials downstream, this energy does nut become sig¬ 
nificant culturally until it Iws been harnessed by means of water mills and 
incorporated imo a cultural system. So it is with pte® and awmak Jhe 
domestication of plants and animals was a way of laying 10 ” 

forces of nature, of directing and controlling them, of incorporating ion 
into cultural systems. This innovation was of tremendous *»Sj' h « n ^ 
for it tapped new sources of energy and thus freed culture from the 
[imitations imposed Uy dependence upon man s body for motive power. 

The advantages of animal husbandry over hunting wild game arc of 
course numerous. Herds and flocks are wirhin man's grasp and of easy 
access as contrasted with the difficulty of finding game. Domestication 
cives nun more assurance that he will have food and hides; hunters often 
return empty-handed, f ood supply may I* increased as a consequence 
uf domesticstinn. Hunting carried on beyond a certain point will actually 
decrease man's food supply; game can be killed off faster than it can 
reproduce. But protection of herds and flocks against attack by wild 
beasts foster an increase of numbers under domestication, and hence an 
increase in food supply, New and valuable materials are made available 
as a .esulr of domestication. The tire of milk, a food whose importance 
in some cultures fc would be hard to exaggerate, is made possible by 
domestication. Furs and hair were, of course, available to hunters, but the 
extensive use of wool for textiles was made possible by the domestication 
and breeding of sheep; D the wild varieties did not have wool stumble 

for such use, apparently.** . t 

A tremendous advantage of domestication over hunting lie* m 

* Wool of the damesrkaicd Hum *mi victtiU vu used in the Andean highland* 
tn pre-Spaniih lima, end tame Indian tribes of the Northwest Cowt pi Notin An*a> 
ka used the hair or u not of the domestic dog for textile purpose*. 

*-The dense, curly wool rf >h«p o Wholly a product .if r" cllc chl, 1 S rc * r ' a 
Klection under domeoivatkm." A- L. Kroeber, Amhr^f.y, res- ed. Ihm-oaO. 
Brace nnd Company, Inc- New York. 1918, p 1**5 »*"> 1- Gtnl Com eft. fW- 

jn j Fvmre, p. ;i, and R. H. Lewk. . 4 * titmtautan to Cultural jtwtknpdw. 

fCT. «1 n <$4^1 J*- 


conrinu011s use of animals in the living form iHLstc^i! of the consumption 
tvf dead ones. Milk egip t and wr«tl can be obtained igain and again from 
animaU without killing then*. At certain levels of cultural development 
domestic animals mny be used as form? of mechanical power, to pull 
hedges or tmvoiii to carry burdens including hitman beings, to draw 
plows and tarn. And through selective breeding, domesticated animals 
may be greatly improved as food- or woobproducmg machines urtd as 
forms of mechanical power. 

Thus, the domestication of animals t> a way of hamraing. controlling, 
and using solar energy in 3 variety of forms ro produce food* clothing* 
and mechanical power. AH the advantages that we have cited for Jurnc*- 
dcatitm as compared with hunting cum how ever „ he reduced to 1 single 
and simple statement: ir is: n mean*, of producing more human need-serv¬ 
ing goods and services per unit of human labor, and hence, per capita. 
Culture has advanced as a comequcnct of increase m the amount of energy 
harnessed per capita per year. 

Much the same observations may he made concerning the advantages 
of agriculture as compared with, gathering wild planes for food and other 
uses. I! omen Imre renders the food supply more certain and more ahun* 
dam. Reducing the competition with weeds gives cultivated plants more 
chance to etow and yield abundantly. Hoeing, plowing* fertilizing* ir¬ 
rigating, rotation nf crap, and selective breeding arc also means of in- 
CRdsing yields. Here, is in animal husbandry, agriculture produces more 
fminan need-serving goods per unit of human labor than the gathering 
of wild plants. And this k 3 consequence -if the greater control exercised 
over the forces of nature by rise agricultural arts. 

We may express the significance of bdfft animai husbandry- and ag¬ 
riculture from tlsc standpoint nf cultural development with a simple 
formula. East tad of £x^P, energy' times technology producing 
a quantity of human need-serving goods and services, let us write 
E (H X N) X T—► P. in which H md JV ate the human and uonhmnan 
components of the energy factor, respectively. If we hold the tool factor 
constant, we can rew rite our formula simply thus; H X N~*P. THs 
expresses the relationship between the amount of energy derived frnm 
the human organism and that from other sources. This ratio is an im¬ 
portant one in all cultures above ihe level nf 100 per cent subsistence 
upon wild food and becomes more important as culture advances, As a 
matter of fact, cultural advance is well expressed in terms nf this ratioi 
ndturi advances as the proportion of iHmbttmtm energy m human energy 
ittereaser. Or we may define culm nil advance in term* of the ratio be- 
tween the product and human labor: culture advances as the amount of 
human need-serving goods and services produced per unit of httman 
labor increases. 

4 g FfttMlTtVE cEtTL ! KE 

Animal husbandry and agriculture arc alike, therefore, in bung m«ra 
of extending control over die forces of nature and of advancing culture 
-« 3 consequence. Bat these am are not equal in their potential capacities 
for culture building; agriculture has a much greater capacity for culture 
building than has animal husbandry. Tire difference « their respt^vc 
capacities rests upon a simple ™>Iopca 3 fact: herds and Hocks must feed 
Jon plants; cultivated plans homos suUr energy directly. A pastoral 
svsteni, for all its control over animals, still rests upon a "iH-fond basis 
m the last analysis: the planet upn which the herds or Hocb f«d. The 
growth and abundance of these plants Uc cultural control. If 
L-njrage fails, the herds diminish or die. Qmtrol over forces of nature 
l greater and more immediate in agriculture, plants harness solar energy 
directly. Fields msv be fertilized. excess water drawn off, crops imgired, 
advantages derived from use of hotbeds, and so on. It goes without saying 
that rive control exercised through agriculture, though greater than that 
in animal husbandry, is never complete and perfect; the filmier is of course 
never wholly immune from natural disaster. Rut the e'iient to u lC 1 
culture can develop an a pastoral hash is limited. Theoretically and pree- 
^Hy- It cimnat develop beyond the limit set bv the tucyra! production 
of pasturage Attempts to increase herds beyond this point merely pro- 
dime the apposite effect: a diminution of herds as a result of deterioration 
of pasture caused bv overgrazing. In the agricultural arts, on ihe other 
hand, there inav be' a limit ro the extern to which human need*serving 
goods cart be produced per unit of human labor, but this, limit Isas not 
been reached even to tliis day. Indeed. « seem not to be close enough 
ra it yet even ro foresee it and ro distinguish its characteristics. 

tf an agricultural system is superior to a pastoral system in its capacity 
m ham™ energy for culture building, a system combining agriculture 
and husbandry is superior ro agriculture by itself. In such a sys¬ 
tem, the production iff crops is facilitated by the use of animals as bcns& 
of burden and motive power-^to draw plows and other agricultural 
implements, to transport crops, to ''tread out gram,” operate machines 
for grinding grain, irrigating fields, etc.—and as producers ot manure 
for fertilizer. Agriculture aids animal husbandry, not only m making 
the food supply of herds and Sticks mure secure and aUundani, hut in 
making it easier and more advantageous to k?vp certain type* °f animJ^ 
such its pigs and fowls. In no culture without agriculture are these kinds 
of animals domesticated and kept in large numbers. In systems with fig" 
riculture, however, they may become of considerable importance. Ag" 
riculuirc and animal husbandry have combined and cooperated w produce 
the greatest cultures of history prior to the Age of Fuels, except in those 
regions like Mexico and Middle America where domesticable animals 
were absent. 

KNFJtGY «fD TDOt-S 49 

Jt should Iw kept in mind in our dffcusiort of hunting. fishing, 
(lathering, animal husbandry, and agriculture, thus far. we have been 
concerned with only one aspect of these processes, namely, rhe energy 
factor. We have not dealt with the tool factor at all HO fir, and we luvc 
ignored environment completely. Jt is obvious that every culture is de¬ 
termined by instrumental and environmental factors as wtJl jh by that 
of energy, but it is convenient and desirable to treat each one singly 
wluJc disregarding the other two. In considering the culture process, we 
ttatv think of any two of these factors as constants while wc vary the 
third. Culture will vary, therefore, as the variable determinant varies. 
Thus, in the formula E X T X F -* F, i» which E t 7 , and f' have values 
as before jiid V stands for environment, we may hedii any two of the 
Utrec determining factors constant and vary the third. F, ihe total prod¬ 
uct, or degree of mil rural development, will then vary accordingly. The 
statns, or degree of development, of any actual cultural system will, how¬ 
ever, be determined by all dirce factors working together. 

These observations arc made at this point to supplement nur discussion 
of cultural development in terms of energy alone. Jt might be pointed 
out, for example, that a certain pastoral, of even a hunting or fishing, 
culture is more advanced, more highly developed as measured in terms 
of our own standard, the amount of human need-serving gooils and serv¬ 
ices produced per Unit of human labor, than 2 certain culture in which 
agriculture is practiced. This is (juice possible, but ir docs not affect the 
validity of our gcneralizatintis concerning these modes of life as. ways of 
harnessing energy- An exceptionally favorable environment, or a highly 
efficient set of tools for the use of energy, or both, might offset an 
inferior means of harnessing energy. Some hunting or fishing cultures 
might produce mote food per unit of human labor limn some primitive 
horticultural systems. An abundance of game, such a 4 luSOu in tile Plains, 
especially after the introduction of the horse, or of tish such k salmon 
in the Northwest Coast area, plus effective means fur appropriating such 
resources, might produce a higher culture than a crude agricultural tech- 
nirjtie in an unfavorable environment. There are even caws 'if peoples 
abandoning horticulture and reverting wholly to hunting. But these facts 
do not affect the validity of our generalizations concerning rhe harness¬ 
ing of energy*. They merely illustrate rhe faer chat every cultural system 
is determined by instrumental and environmental factors as (tell a* hy 
that of e ner gy. We may note, however, that all the lowest cultures have 
neith er agriculture nor*herds or flocks; all the highest have agriculture, 
and in no case lias a pastoral system produced a culture as advanced as 
the highest produced by the cultivation of plants. Our generalization? 
regarding the relative merits of hunting, fishing, gathering, pastoral, and 
agricultural systems, as types of control over the forces of nature, are 


rhus supported by culture history in world outline. Subsistence upon 
wild foods is the most inferior of these methods of control; sgnruliurc, 

TIiLs docs not mean, however, that a people must pais through these 
three stages of development" in succession. A people may go directly 
from a wild-food economy to agriculture without ever having flocks or 
heed* at all, as of course many American Indian tribes have done. A pro- 
pk may even give tip ihcsr gardens and return wholly n> a wild-food 
economy a* some North American mhes did, living m or near the Great 
Plains wjib its swarming herds of bison, after the introduction of the 
horse -ind the beginning of a westward migration of white men. Neither 
is it necessary for j pisioral siagc to precede an agricultural Mage in the 
cultural -evolution i ry process. It would he superfluous i" mcntiun this, 
so obvious is it, were it not for the tradition, stiil exrant p that early 
tiouisis insisted upon 3 p^tond stage ^ a pitrtqumte to an agricolnjnt 
SKgc, We know of no reputable antliropologtst. however, who ever held 

sndi a view. . t 

We am not concerned here with tire bistary of the domestication ctf 
anirmk or the cultivation of phmtii- We might merely mention in passing 
dm it has been animah who live in flocks and herds, like sheep, Carrie, 
and horses, that have played prominent role in culture building by pro¬ 
viding food, hide* and fibers, and motive power, Among cultivated phots 
the cereal* are of greatcsr importance. They have been, as Tvlnr put u, 
«dic great moving power of tiviUzatitm fcf ; 3 * all the pear cultures of his¬ 
tory have been developed and sustained by the cultivation of ccrejJs^ 

We may remark also that the drunesticaLioa of animals was die ^ork 
of men, principally, as the origin of cultivation of plants was rhe achieve- 
men* of women. The male hunter became a paFturalisc; the foliate col¬ 
lector of wild plant foods, a horticuliuralkt* This division of labor he- 
tween the serfc* has had great import for social organization, in domestic 
food economies wcU as in wild-food cultures. 

Eniiroipmit: We propose to deal at length with the instrumental 
factor in eultur.ii development later. We may* however, dispose of il'f 
ctivirnnnicrti.d factor now, once and for all. so far as evolutionist theory' 
is concerned. Every cultural system exists atul functions in a rtaturiil 
habitat, 3 collocation of flora, fauna, topography, altitude, meteorology' 
condition!, and forces, and #0 on. And every 1 culture is of course affected 
by these environ menial factors. Rut the relationship between culture and 
environment is not a one-to-one correlation by any means. Environment 
does not ‘'determine" culture in the sense that “given the environment, 

B. Tylor* i88i* p< arj. 


F 1 

we can predict the culture-" M Eiatirwtrwncs vary, and their influence 
and effect upon cultures vary likewise, Some habitats arc wuitabk for 
agriculture, a pastoral economy, or fishing manufacturing, etc.; others 
are not; they may even render certain i)^pts of cultural adjustment ro 
nature impossible. But the relationship nf ciUnire 10 environment is de¬ 
termined to a eery great extent by the degree of cultural development* 
The region now known as Kansas was not suitable for agriculture for 
a people with i culture like tint of the Dakota Indians in aj>< i&». The 
same region La not suited m a hunting economy now* Whether the cod 
nnd iron deposits. or the water-power resource*, of a region will be ex¬ 
ploited or not depends tip on the degree nf development of the culture 
of that region. This observation helps to make explicit and apparent an 
important generati radon about the relationship between culture and 
environment: features of the natural habitat become sign iff cant tf^l) 
when and is they are introduced into cultural *ysrerns and become in¬ 
corporated fas them as cultural elements* Hie coal tnd iron of western 
Europe, or the water power of EnglandL become significant only it cer¬ 
tain Jc%*eJs of cultural develop incur. The flowing streams of England were 
relatively insignificant culturally tn a.i>. ejoo; they became trctneTiJuiJbH 
imporrani as sources of power for industry in the seventeenth and eight¬ 
eenth centuries; with the development of the steam engine and the ex¬ 
ploitation of coal resources, they became relatively Insignificant again, 
Tims we see that although natural habitat exerts an influence upon culture, 
wc can learn more ibout this in flue nee from a consideration of the cul¬ 
ture and its degree of development than by a mere inventory of environ¬ 
mental features- 

But a consideration of environmental influence Ls relevant only to 
studies of particular cultures; it is not pertinent to % general study of 
culture as such- If wc are concerned with the culture of Egypt in 5000 
ir,c,p of England in a.Uh 900, of British Columbia or Kansas in 1850. etc., 
them one must rake the natural habitat into account, But if one is con¬ 
cerned with culture as a distinct class of phenomena, tf one wishes to 
discover how cultural systems are structured and how they functioa as 
cufiura] systems, then one <!oo nut need n* consider the natural habitat 
sr all If one wishes to ascertain the relationship between tedinologtcaJ 
instruments and social organization. Flow and why social systems change, 

p "Wtiie Ft & irur thqi culture 3 are routed in nature, and "" Therefore never be 
cnmpktdv imdcntiwd <h«pl widl reference TO that p^cr nf mure in whj.1i they 
ocrufj, they arc no more prefaced by rhat U&mic ilun * u produced nr i-iinc* 
bv the Mil hi ivhich ir h rxwd. The humt-lbir crnsei of culiunl [itirnfHtiM* ate 
othrr CTJtunl plieftMiK...--." A I. K tocher. “O.lrar.1 »»J N»«j \rr» of N««h 
Aiwtica*'" tJnivfTitfj 4 t*7*rh A ^ - r ^ t1 1 

ftohfty , p, r. 



ihe role of art in social life, the relationship between mode of subsittenee 
uml the status of woman, how anti why the culture of mankind taken as 
a whole has grown and developed through the ages, he doe, not need to 
consider the environment. Tin- culrarologist wants to work out the laws 
of behavior of cultural systems as such, just as die physicist has worked 
our laws for falling bodies. 1 u be sure, the natural habitat is always there, 
and it exerts an influence upon culture ar all rimes and places, just as the 
nature of die foiling body and the density of the atmosphere always slices 
its fall. An autumn leaf falls in one way. a hailstone in another. A bullet 
falls one wav in rhe atmosphere, another way in a vacuum. But the law 
of falling bodies is valuable ftrecudy *er j use it ignores die influence of 
itmosplwre and the composition and structure of the falling body. In 
exactly the same way, the cultnrologist is trying to formulate laws of 
behavior of cultural systems in general. Like the physicist, be wants valid 
universal*. If one wishes to deal with particulars, with particular cultures 
or particular falling bodies, then allowance must of course be trade for 
particular conditions in each instance* 

Use dgmfiOLftce of the origin And development of ihe agricutiura! am, 
alone or in conjunction wich animal husbandry, fur the growth of cul¬ 
ture was tremendous. For some 990,00o years culture had IwecO develop¬ 
ing md accumulating. But at the end of the Paleolithic era it was ^U! on 
a very low level, comparatively speaking, Man had advanced considerably 
beyond other animal species, thanks to his use of took and symbol*- l StJf 
hc'sTill subsisted upon wild food as did other anumK li ved in small groups 
and had neither metals nor writing. In a few' thousand years, however, 
after (griculturc got under way, the entire system had undergone a pro- 
found rrmvfomaation- Technologically, the change was from a cultural 
system based alttiosr wholly upon human energy alone* to one based 
primarily upon solar energy [vamessed in cultivated plants and domesti¬ 
cated animals. There were profound sockl changes, also. Populations 
increased greatly in numbers and densities which in turn found expres¬ 
sion m new forms of social organization* Small villages grew into towns, 
and eventual!v large cities. Nations and empires rook the place of tribe 
and clao organisation- The industrial* aesthetic, and philosophic arts flour¬ 
ished. Metallurgy was developed^ writing, mathematics, the calendar, 
and currency came into me, In short, in a relatively brief rime, 3 * only 

* w .,.Finds to the Near Iks seem so indicate (hat the dufretiucica of pitfU* 
.mil ntiintab in Hue Kjtinn w*s followed fiy an cxcracudinary fleering rrt culture. 
Ralph Union, M Jho Presem Sunn AttfhtafMitngy,' St iViur/, vul ft* p> -4^ 

'-\~n t i itry Uw% time no gfgnUurjnt pmgfsas was nude [in the How WoiWp* 
but cnmxully there came the rfjfcovtry of sericulture, and wirh ir fenw of p°PJ s _ 
latfon tnd rapid dmlopmeot nf higher cultured A, V, Kidder, "Looking Hick^ani 
VrvcrtttiiNp of th* AmmcJta FWtoiepi&jd Sacitti, raL % p. jji. 



3 few thousand years, after agriculture had become established as a means 
of control over forces of nature, the great riviiizalinns of Egypt, Mes¬ 
opotamia, India, China, add, in ihe New World, of Mexico, Middle Amer¬ 
ica, and Peru, came into being. The origin and development of agriculture 
brought about n revolution in culture. The Agricultural Revolution will 
be the subject of Pan Two of this work. 

The roh of tools. The technological process may be analyzed* as we 
have noted earlier, into nvu components or aspects. On the one hand, 
we have energy, harnessed and expended, and on the other, the mechani¬ 
cal means with which This es accomplished. A woman digs edible roots 
with a stick; a man shoots a deer with an arrow; com is ground with a 
nictate or a water mill; an ox draws a plow. Having sketched the course 
of technological development from the stand point of energy, we now 
rum to the aspect of too!, or instrumental, means. 

As Qstwald Has pointed out, the structure* use. and development of 
cools may be illuminated by clunking of them in their relationship to 
energy. 11 When a man rook a staff in his hand," he says, +k hc increased 
the radius of his muscular energy ... and was therefore able to apply it 
more usefully- Ily the use of a club be could accumulate lu$ muscular 
energy in the form of kinetic energy and bring it into play with sudden 
force when die dub alighted. By this means it was possible to perform 
work which could not have been accomplished by die unaided activity 

of his muscular energy in rite form of pressure- “ Sl1 

In the how ond arrow, muscular energy is transformed into form 
energy of the drawn bow, from which ii may be released imtantancnuslv 
and with great intensify. In the crossbow, muscular energy can be stored 
tip indefinitely. 

“Another kind of trutH formation*" says Gstwald, "relates to the con- 
ccntmion uf energy in small surfaces, as edges and points: bosh bring 
it about that muscular work by virtue of the diminution of resistance 
in the surface, is able to overdue so much greater an intensity of pres¬ 
sure. . bi Sword and spear unite the increased length of the ami-radius 
with the concentrated effectiveness nf edge and point" 11 Other mechani¬ 
cal device^ such as levers, whttti, ball bearings, etc., have their signifi¬ 
cance in relation to the mu« effective or economical expenditure of 


The result obtained from an expenditure of energy within a cultural 
system \s of course conditioned by the mechanical means with which 
the energy- h controlled. Means vary; .some art mare efficient than 

"Wilhelm OstwaJd, "The Modem Theory or EntfgtdbA" The M&nht f vol i~, 
p 511. r W . 
m lbU^ p. fii. 


" it ”» 

efficiency may range from o per cent, or k& to iw per cent, 

" consider a canoe paddle in j given situation- It might he so inng so 
-lender or so hc*W as in he worthless or even to have a negative value. 
Its efficiency is then a per cent M less- But we can imagine and actually 
construct a'paddle which is of such dimensions and proportions that smy 
change would decrease its efficiency. In elEc.ency k m 
nf its caoachv practically * well as theoretic!IV- What is true lor 
»m « mrehamoil J«vicc fur ^ 

Ji-i. eSS h» . point «t nttMmuni tSaacf beyond tvhich « 
cnj be iMMd Grim in the tffieienev of a otetrotneot met * 
made by the substitution of one material for an other m the compost 
SrJS manufacture nf the instrument, a, well as by -nprovement .n 
design Thus, an aluminum or plastic paddle might be superior . 
of w>d; certain alloys might yield greater dfidency » or 
than iron or steel- In other words, one type of msmiineni tmyU flfr 
siituted fur another type, but each type lias a mmflnirurf effitf _ 

An,I the number of typ« oad, potuble lhrou e h -he ote of c omb.m omo 
of material, t> finite in practice, if nor m theory. In final analv is, them 
fore, improvement! in the efficiency of instrumental means tmLt d 
wavs be confined within certain limits. Practically, as we Jnou fr 
observation, actual limits often fall short of those theoretically 

There is an aspect of economy as well as of mechanical effi 
to he considered in evaluating the role of instrumental means of com 
nulling energy. One type of tool may be more economical though nu 
more efficient, or even lc« efficient, diao another, Ecerremy h "J 
measured in units of energy required for tlie production of the too- 
Early copper »x» or knives were little, If any more, efficient than the 
stone implements they replaced, according to Childc. - Bat if a . 
ax were broken, it would he difficult, if nor impossible, to repair it so 
that another would have to be manufactured to replace it. The copper 
3 x, on the other hand, could he repined with relative ease. The cost 
in labor of the stone implement was much greater than that of mew, 
atid so the latter would be preferred at equal degrees of efficiency, 
smw principle will apply ro higher levels of technological development, 

-V, Gordon Child*, What Happetutd in Tftitory* P ^ 


It b nd duubt often possible to make a machine more efficient than one 
of its type in use, bur at a eo*r. either in energy or money, that would 
make it less economical tu use. Thus £mmdcf*Utm£ of economy may 
limit die efficiency of tools and machines in many instances. But whether 
we consider the use of tools from the tnmJpEimi .?f medumical efficiency 
or of cost uf production, the end result is die vunc. the tool or instru¬ 
ment that makes possible die greater produce per unit of energy es- 
pen Jed will rend to replace one yielding the leaver product in processes 
where the efficient and economical production of goods h the primary 

We need not concern ourselves here with the varying skills with 
which a tool is used by craftsmen, since they may be reduced tn an 
average, and rims considered a constant. 

The social organization of the use of fools and mad lines is an im¬ 
portant aspect of the technological process. Such things as division tif 
labor, specialization p cooperation systematization, anti ra Humiliation may 
affect the operation of the technological process very considerably* and 
with it the magnitude of mult produced. But we need merely to recog¬ 
nize these facts here; we do nor need to take them into jcenum in our 
consideration of the nature and function of the instruments themselves. 

Hemming ro our formula £ X T —* P p we may formulate another kw 
of cui rural growth: fittit arc develops as the efficiency or economy of the 
mcfns of controlling energy incrc^c^ other factors remtrmmg constsm. 
This means* also, tbut the status, ^height," or degree of development of 
a cultural system is proportional to the efficiency and economy of the 
mechanical means with w hich energy is harnessed and expended* 11 
A rcvicw r of culnire history brings out the following: Progress in 
cultural development, during the long eta when cultural systems derived 
the overwhelming proportion of their motive power from the hunuui 
organism* was accomplished almost exclusively in the realm of tools. 
Progress of this sort consisted in adding new tools to the cultural tradi¬ 
tion and in the (mpravenjent of ones in use. 

Mechanical progress was continued during the Agricultural Age also* 
But here ue arc confronted by % special situation, in cultivated plants 
and domestic animals we have liuth energy ill definite magnitudes and 
means of harnessing and expending energy, and the two are inseparable* 
A plant of Ztj may/, or Indian cam, h not only a certain amount of 
energy* it is also a means of controlling energy. A cow may be regarded 
as i means of producing EtiUk, a miIk-producing machine, that nisy be 

"‘'Thf degree of rfFictcncy if a rvry pood mc-iuft of culmrc .. for we rail 
every puehinc and vvtry pfiHrtii better which yichb j larger amount -_■£ useful 
for an equal amount of nW energy. that whith work? witJi It*. wane." 
IVdhchn Oxiwald, “Efficiency ^ Hf* fmtepemimt, red. 71 , ji. i?ei. 

pftt.MmVE CtTUUHt 

considered from the standpoint of efficiency and economy. Some cows, 
as machines, arc more efficient dun others; he., they produce more milk 
and burrcrfjt per unit of dier than others. I he same kind of observations 
could be made about hogs, sheep, and hens as meal-, wool-, and egg* 
producing machines, respectively- In same cases, such as milk cows, egg 
producers, etc-, it is relatively easy to distinguish the means aspect fniiu 
the energy aspect- But efficiency as a nieans. and energy in definite 
amounts, ate virtually one anil the same thing in cases inch as the 
cultivation of cereals. A mure efficient means of harnessing energy is also 
a greater magnitude of energy—larger ears of com, for example. 

We may datiugnkli, therefore, two classes of means of harnessing 
and expending energy: biological and mechanical. In the latter, instru¬ 
mental means ami energy are easily distinguished. The quality <>t (he 
ax does not affect the amount of energy- offered by the woodsman; the 
engine neither adds to tior subtracts from the amount of coal burned 
by it. Bur as planes or animals become more efficient means of con* 
trolling energy, the amount of energy varies also. We may distinguish 
the two aspcca in logical analysis of course, but in actuality they are 

We troy summarize our discussion of energy and tools in die following 
law of cultural development; culture advances as the amount of energy 
harnessed per Capita per year increases, or as the efficiency nr economy 
of the r/ie.vit of controlling energy is increased, or boib * 4 Progress w as 
due almost wholly to increase of efficiency nr economy of mechanical 
means in the first stage of minimi development, in subsequent eras de¬ 
velopment has come from both sources. 

It must not lie assumed, however, that these two factors, energy and 
mechanical means, are equally significant merely because both play a 
put in cultural evolution and progress. The energy factor is much more 
fundamental and important. The fact that energy is of no significance 
as a culture builder without mechanical means of expression in no way 
invalidates this evaluation. If energy is useless without mechanical con¬ 
trivances, the latter are dead without energy. Furthermore, no amount 
of addition to, or improvement of, mechanical means can advance cul¬ 
ture beyond a certain point so long as die energy factor remains un¬ 
changed. Culture would retrogress, even if its took and machines were 

PrusiLvj ni f*dhilk»! science ll chlraCtC rired by ill: fact: first, I hat mote 
tti<J more energy ii urilurd for human purposes, and Kcondly, dm (he uanifonnanoA 
of r Etc raw energies ijttn useful form of energy is jircndshi hy ever incirJHnp ef¬ 
ficiency.*' ibid. Gtmmkl U brie ijleaking of technic d science- Hue 1/ cultural develop¬ 
ment a> a whole i«ta upon ind is deftrniirtfd by toclifwiogkd adimice, what he 
saya would nj^ly to the evolution off culm re in its e^nftty. 

enesgy anq tools 

pcrfcct-and precisely because they were perfect— if the amount of 
energy harnessed per Capita per year were diminished. On the other 
hand, m increase in amount of energy fumewed will not only cam.- 
cuirurr forward because of this irnrr^c bur will foster mechanical im¬ 
provement as well. Mechanical instruments are inderd essential. Bur they 
arc merely the vehicle, the means, the scaffolding, the skeleton; cncr*V 
is the dynamic* living force that loiuutcs culrura't systems anti develops 
them t« higher levels and forms, r 

Chapter j THE NATURE OF 

Social organization is but » particular form of organon in general. 
Oigmfcition is an ^tribute of reality wherever it confronts m. it b the 
task of science to tender the world intelligible to U* Thus means 
mg how chines are arranged or put together, how events are related to 
one another, and how they behave. In other words, u * ?J 

science to describe and explain the struck re and function of things and 
events whatever rhey may be. Structure and funenon are, of course, 
closely related; they are merely complementary aspects, sta c a 
dvnattiic, of a single phenomenon. The word “orgamzat.on embraces 
.d these aspects, although if emphasize- structure perliaps more 
than function. But since we cannot fully understood a formal arrange¬ 
ment of parts without knowing how they are related to cad. other 
functional!v, the tern, organization may he taken to include both. Ore 
might say. therefore, that the subject matter of science is orgamzaoon. 

Thcre are. of course, various kinds of organization: cosmic, galactic, 
stellar, plane la rv. molecular, atomic, protozoan (uniedluhi organisms), 
metazoan (multicellular organisms), and social (systems composed o * 
numlier of living organisms)- Or we might put the matter m another way 
and sav that there are physical, biological. and social types of tirgamza- 
tinn. The lira category would embrace all forms of organization of non¬ 
living matter; the second, the various organizations of matter into living 
beings; and the third, the social, would contain the arrangement and rela¬ 
tionships of living beings to one another. The study of social organiza¬ 
tion is therefore merely a portion of scientific inquiry taken .is a whole; 
it b that portion of science which is concerned with the interrelation¬ 
ship of living beings. _ . . . , 

Soeijt organization U the general category of which bwutn social or* 
conization h bur a particular manifestation. If we are to understand the 
particular, we must also understand the universal; we must discover prin¬ 
ciples common to all social systems. When we have done this we shall be 
in a position to sec how these principle operate in human social systems. 




One living being is related to another. We can think of ail these rela¬ 
tionships. past, present, and future, as constituting a single system. We 
actually do this in the theory of biologic evolution in which all bxdi- 
viddills and all species arc considered as being related to one another in. 
a .-.ingle web of life. This unity of relationship is. ie tuust be doled, social 
as well as biological A science of social organization compfehensivc 
enough ro include all living beings (on diis planet, at least) would, how* 
ever, be so general as to Jtavc relatively little value. But it h well to lAc 
this view of social organization occasionally. for rhe sake of perspective. 

A practical, as distinguished from a purely theoretical, interest in inter¬ 
relationships between living beings would, however, go far Ijcyond die 
scupe of a single specks. We are often confronted by a social system 
which includes a number of species, genera, or families There many 
such systems in the lower-animal and plain worlds In which one species 
is related to another a* enemy* host. food, rnafb of propagation, and 
50 on_ The so-called food chain*, in which species A fetrds tm specie B* 
which in turn is dependent upon specie* C fur existence, and so oil* arc 
examples of niuIHpk-spccies social systems. Alan is always and evtry- 
where a member of a stickl system an bracing other species, for wh ether 
lie is a hunter, fisher, gatherer of wild plants, pastoralisc, agriculturalist, 
or urban industry lisr. he has relations with other species that .ire socially 
significant. Man's exploitation of plant and animal resources of nature has 
often been quite significant for these various species as for hurodf. 
Since Paleolithic times he has been a powerful factor of selection and 
development, on the one hand, and of destruction, on the other; the 
pastoral and agricultural art* are the specific forms assumed by these 
frbrioitships. To give a concrete example: a pastoral tribe, their sheep, 
the plants they feed upon, the beasts of prey who attack the Jocks, do¬ 
mestic dogs as auxiliary defense, not ro mention the lice on the shepherds, 
the fleas on Hie dogs, and ricks on the sheep, constitute i social system 
in which cadi species plays a part- An agricultural people liaving draft 
animals to draw plows, plant food for both man and iieait, food and 
clothing supplied from livestock and fields fcmliited with their dung, is 
another commonplace hut important form of multiple-species social 

Turning to social systems located w ithin the boundaries of a single 
species, we nn:c that there may be only erne kind of system within a 
species, or there may he several. A sock I system may be fairly rigid 
and constant, or it may be flexible anti given to change. Social relations 
may be frequent, inti mute, and intense, or th £y may lie occasional and 
feeble* They may be perpetuated by the mechanisms or biologic heredity, 
or they may be continued by the ncurosenstiry process of conditioning 
or by verbal tradition. The specific forms of social sj^rems among plants, 


fish, reptiles, insects, birds,«rmv«r«. primates. 2nd MOO, are <*«"** 
cacecdLly numerous and almost mfimtciy varied, 'ict all constitute 
3 driLik ailJ distinct class: systems of idadtindups among Jiving beings, 
Wc should therefore Lie able to discover principles common to all forms 

within rliis class. ... , , . - „ . ,l_ 

This we can readily do, Orginkttum is a network of things aiul the 

relationship* obtaining among them. Sochi organization is the subclass 
nf organization tliat is concerned with living beings m particular, m short, 
it is simply a network of relations curtaining between living material 

Sodd organi-ration will therefore be distinguished from other forms 
nf ortfihiwricm by die miic characteristics that distinguish living systems 
from nonliving material bodies. We discover the nature of s.kioJ or- 
canization in she properties peculiar to living beings. W har facials, then, 
distinguish, at one and the same time, the living from the inanimate, and 

social organization from all other forms.' .... . , . 

A living mutcml body muse do ecmin tilings if ir is ro maintain itidr 
m a I King tiling. It mist obtain and digest food; it must have a terrain 
amount nf protection from the elements; and it must defend itself imm 
its enemies. And if the species is M he perpetuated, there must be repro¬ 
duction of individuals. Tins*, then, ate the distinctive characteristic* 
of living material bodies; nutrition, reproduction, and protection, bociaj 
organirarinn, there fore, is a network of relations between living material 
bodies flic function of w hich is to maintain and perpetuate their status 
as living beings through the proeewts of nutrition, protection, and repro¬ 
duction Any social system is determined by these three coordinates: 
rhe way in which its constituent members nourish themselves; the way in 
which they protect tbemsdVQS from the dements arid defend themselves 
from their enemies; and the way in which they perpetuate their kind. 
These are the determinants of social organization. Let us consider a few 

txt us return to the shcphcrds--herd^plfliit^tvensts-of,prcy-<iugs-ticc- 
ticks sodal system we alluded to earlier. Wliat are the determinants 
of this system? They are not hard ro discover. The shepherds subsist 
oo their herds; the herds feed upon grass; the wiki beasts attack the 
herds; the shepherds and the dogs defend them; the lice nnd ticks feed 
upon their hosts; etc, Thus they are all related to each other in terms 
of subsistence or of offense-defense. Being composed of various kinds 
of animals, the social system is nf course perpetuated by the reproductive 
protests ta each of the several species. 

In contrast with die alnive example, there are social systems composed 
of members gf more than one species in which the mode of reproduction, 
rather than mode of subsistence, is the must rignificanr determinant. The 



ejtg^ iif the bookworm hatch, the larvae develop, in the bodies of men. 
Tlic life cycle of Chester flics requires rhe participation of enth^Wnu, 
Here we have instances of social systems in which the mode of repro 
duelian is the mo&c significant of tilt three dctcimmanfi* Some birds lay 
their eggs in the nem of other birds, allowing die latter to hatch ami 
feed the young. Reproduction and murine mi ire most significant here. 

We come, therefore, to the following generalization- any social system is 
iitevinei by the three determhumu of ntitritim prptMtton or defense, 
fffld reproduction: N X5X R-+S, These factors are not always of equal 
magnitude and influence. On the contrary, they may and do vary widely. 
In one system, the factor of nutrition may he the most significant or 
powerful determinant; in an father, it may be protection or reproductinn- 
Or there may he other kinds of combinations. As it is with systems em¬ 
bracing two or more species* so with systems within a tingle aperies. 
Let us illustrate with a few examples. 

The social organisation of wild ducks fa different from that nf eagles. 
The emit, beinu a predatory bird* must live a father solitary lift. The 
nature and distribution of in* food docs not make group life possible. 
Ducks live in flocks because of ihc nature of their fond supply and for 
mutual aid, each bird finding sonic safety and protection in the flock. 
So it h with tigers and bison. The beast of prey fives alone or in small 
groups* the bison is gregarious like the grass upon which be feeds, and 
the herd provides protection for its members. 

The operation of the factors of nutrition and reproduction as deter¬ 
minant* of social organization is well exemplified in the case of birds? 

"Some birds are solitary in their mode of life, others tolerant, and 
others more or less sociable. With many species sociability is at Its lowest 
ebb during rhe breeding sensort, when the flocks or parties bre-ik up and 
settle in pairs, dispersed over the country. Bur with other*, parriculariy 
«a-btrtts* the reverse Itnld* good; their scattered members rally from ill 
directions to particular points w here they breed in massed colonies, often 
*o dense that they hardly leave mom tn tread. These are not simply 
manifestations of a communist or an individualist tempera mcitf; they ire 
solutions of the economic problem which, in one form or another, every 
species has to meet. This is well illustrated by the case nf finches which 
The on seeds themselves, hut feed their young entirely upon insects. In 
winter they are sociable, living in mixed flocks; tn spring a revolution 
takes place, tod they arc found everywhere in pairs, occupying compact 
territories from which ull others of their kind are jealously excluded. 
Tfwsir character has not changed its mould* but the new economic prob¬ 
lem of rearing a delicate brood consuming its own weight in small in¬ 
sects every day has temporarily imposed upon the species a different 
amnner of life. 

£n raiMmvi CEFJ»TUBE 

“Once this pressure is retold rhe social instinct* reassert themselves, 
and rhe family parries nenoundiig 4 fiaed territory, begin to drifr to¬ 
gether into flocks spin. h - . 

"'Hie bird population and rhe manner in which it is distributed at 
various season* arc therefore controlled within fairly narrow limits by 
the imwimt </f mmfck food vvxikbk and the periodic demand f&r nessin% 
me f n 1 italics supplied!. 1 

Among the so-calkd social insects the anatomy of sex and reproduction 
comes m the fore. Males* females, and neuter constitute jQCiiU as well 
as sex, classes. These classes arc also related ro subsistence and defense. 

The social life of d species may have two quite different forms of or* 
ganizarinn. depending upon the exercise or quiescence of the sexual func¬ 
tions. Some species live in herds for ihc greater part of the year. But 
during the breeding season, the herd breaks up into family groups. This 
is the case with the northern fur scat for example: 

"During a great part of rhe year these scab lead a peLiijic existence, 
their attention given over ro the capture of fish. Sexual activities at sea 
are impossible, as mating can not cake place in the water. In May and 
early June the males. . arrive at the Prtbyloff Islands, where each indi¬ 
vidual bikes up a position on the breeding grounds and fiercely defends 
it against his rivals, there to await die entiling of (he fern lies. About the 
middle of June the females begin to appear, 1 * a 
The males fight fiercely among themselves* first for die most suitable 
breeding grounds, and later for rhe cows themselves* Natural I v rhe most 
powerful and aggressive males secure the l>est sites and the mrat mate*. 
Some mules win a* many as fifty mates, though the average is fifteen 
to twenty. Others arc a hie to secure only one or two* and some, no 
doubt, are unable to obtain a mate at all. 

This is an extremely interesting example In which the m]c of each of 
rhe three determinant* of social organization is revealed with singular 
clarity. First we have the herd form in which the factors of nurririon and 
mutual protection are dominant, the sexual factor being quiescent. The 
awakening and upsurge of the sexual force transforms their social life: 
itie herd breaks up into family groups. Sexual activity draws male and 
female together, repels male from male. Aggression and defense in jeer a 
selective factor in to the reproductive process; the mure powerful and 
aggressive males beget rhe must offspring. 'The family groups are polygy- 
non* rather than polyindrnus liecause the male is mure powerful than 
the female md therefore dominates the process of mate selection. 

1 f 7 - ^1 Nu'butieiCL "hinh," Efttyel&pwJh Britanmt*, ijrJi cd . roh pjv 

By pcrmivjfui of Rncydoj^edb Briftankii, fee, Chlofo. 

1 Orris S, MBktf Jn PHmatti Banf of Humui Scainl Behavior,' - Ttt 
Quarterly Review #f B&te&y, rol \ p. December^ m *. 

the hatuix of socni ZATfdffif 63 

As the vcxu^l factor was domianr in the herd so is the Nutritional he* 
tor negligible during the breeding season. The abstinence and endurance 
of rhe bulb arc truly remarkable: 

“lThey] abstain entirely from food of any kind, or water, for three 
nmstrhi at lease; and a few of them actually stay out four mondu, in total 
abstinence, before going back into the water for the first time after 
"hauling up' in May; they then return as so many hunv shadows of what 
they were only a few months auteriarfy; covered with wounds, abject 
and spiritless, they laboriously crawl back to the sea tu renew a fresh 
lease of life/* * 

Titus the social life of this species varies as die coordinate* of social 
organization vary. The herd form of organization is ihc expression of the 
subsistence factor primarily, supplemented by mutual protection; the 
sexual factor If insignificant. The periodic ascendancy an d dominance of 
sex produce* familj' organization, with fighting and junk dominance dc- 
imniniog rhe size and conaporiiion id the family. With the ascendance 
of the *cxual factor, iIuje of nutrition subfiles- 

As it is with other animal4, so it is with man. But before we discuss 
the social organization of this species, let us consider plant life for a 
montent. lr k not couttinury, pcriiaps, to think of trees* grass, and shrubs 
as having social life, 4 But if by social orgamZdticm we mean relations 
between living beings—and if we do not include tU living species, where 
and with whai JostiHeation shall we draw the lincr^-thcn we must in¬ 
clude plant life. 

VVe find that our theory applies equally well r» plants; the form of 
social organization w ill be determined by the way in which plants nour¬ 
ish, protect, and reproduce themselves. Some plants reproduce in one 
way, some in another, ]n some sperits new plants are formed by rhe 
division of bujtis underground. In others* seeds arc earned far afield hy 
the winds or by other methods. The social relations lietween plants 
thus vary from species to species. The sexual structure and behavior of 
plants, the methods of pollination, erc^ may liLso be significant in deter¬ 
mining soda! relations The mode of subsistence, roo, is sometimes note¬ 
worthy, Some plants gee their food from the ground, others from the 
water, and still other* .ire parasitic on other plants. Most plants are 

t quoting from EUlocx, The }bfcif vf iL-t Fur- jraJ, tftv + 

'Set. however, George D, Fuller and fleery s. Owiud (mm t«ki, Pkm 
S&ehbj%y: Tb* Smdj */ f*bmt C utrmim bitt f t9>t T a rrimiiiinrt of Ffifnn^mstmoI^b f 
by Jostai Urjux^riJjn^uct. Fjtikrie L Cknieuts ditfttsdo pUm cotJiirninhkt in jui'h. 
tenm as “cMpcntiyn," ’‘com^rion, 1 ’ “'imfcgraQwi,* u J[iminjrii 3 n, h njtKinfimtiqn." 
f^lllliev," and even 'tUuS.'" ^ Origin JlHl Pro«y« amrmn- Plairr.t, 1 " cliaj 1 . ;. 

A Mxruikdui- SefU Ptrcbvfoxy. Girl -V MurthE-.^n (cd,). i-^j See ul10 TheotW 
I™! Fiiffl? Anfrrui Cwhiw/fn;^ 191^ and jub V.. WclVfif intj Fjeijtrk L 

■Oemerres Pirn Etoiugy, id cd* 15.3$, 


sedentary. but same are nomadic, wandering about & curroiOt of rbc 
water in which they live carry them. And plane* may provide each other 
protection and shelter by certain forms of assoctarioiL Thus our theory 
of social orqani3tatiori is as applicable co plant forms of life as to anim it 
forms. Let Vs now return to naan, or more properly, the order of 

Prim,urs are distinguished nnong mammals by The absence of a rutring 
season^ Among other placental mwnpilk, there are season* or period* of 
heat during which ihe sexual forces become active; at other limes they 
are tjuicscenr. Among monkeys apes, and men* however^ the sexual lurecs 
are continuously active., aEihough nut wjrh uniform intensity* This vans* 
tion in sexual function among mnmmab produce* a corresponding var¬ 
iation in social organisation. Among species having a rutting reason* 
or periods of heat, there is a close attachment between male and female 
onlv during the season or period^ at other rimes association U indifferent 
to sex. Pairing, or family group, among nnrrprimate mammals is there¬ 
fore Only occasional; most of the time this type of organisation is lacking, 
and the herd* pack, or other type of grouping prevails. We have a good 
example of this in the seals previously noted The same situation i$ found 
too, amung cattle, dccr T ami other species. 

Among priuiareSp however* the situation is different. Since the scxttil 
forces are continuously operative, the two scses are drawn and held to¬ 
gether. The family group becomes a pcmtanenr social form among 
primates* The form of the family may vuy; a male may have only one 
mure, or he may have several Or Sic may have none if he is unable to win 
4ud beep one in com petition with lib fellows, in which case he con¬ 
stitutes ct distinct element in the satinl configuration; die celibate male, 
an animal with desire hut without the nx-airt of gratifying It- E fr become*, 
therefore, a lianger-on of one family group or another, a setud satellite* 
ever ready to sciie an opportunity for surreptitious gratification or to 
challenge the monopoly of a milted male. He thus cntiviinitcs an ever¬ 
present threat to the solidarity of a -specific family group, though not 
to family organisation itself 

While variations of social orgaGbation among primates exist, it b po*- 

- Cf. SL ZuckcJinsii 7 Yv Sccidl Lift iff Monlcyi A per* 1971, pp. 51, mt-tfjh 

•Freed h«t some been abKrvftrsGiw on kx and wcUl uigariizarimi in ChilbJtfon 
mhJ ht Diiftmtcmt, JfrnatSun C*|w« UtL, LomJnn, w^e> pp. 'Tven eirijef. 

in lit! pid^tur) 1 , nun had adopted lh* kilth nf forming families,.► ■ C>n* 

may typp^tfur rise fiiundin^ of families w« in snme way connected with Thr period 
when Thf need far astral ati^cnon, no longer appearing like an nce-idaiu] gum 
whs wim up fudiJnity and theii viru*Uei wiihuur letting one hear anything of iiim 
for long titterrii*v had ^rtted down wish «ch nun like 1 permanent lodger When 
this happened* du nu-c iciyuirtd ■ motive for beeping die female, nf ratbrr, hit 
jcxuaE objtett* nnr him; svhile ihn female, who warned nut to he w pi anted from her 
htlplca m their kneresu, too, lud in way bv i!ie gfo ng cf luiter 


gjble to generalize as follows: Primates live in group*, each of which 
has 113 ovm territory through which it habitually rourm- and forage* and 
which it endeavors to defend against aggressors mid tixspa&cjT The size 
of the local group varies, tending to be larger among the monkeys, smaller 
among the ape^ Differentia tinn of-soda! structure can be discerned within 
the J0c.1t group: it is composed of family groups and unattached males. 
The family consists of one adult rede, his nute or mates, and thdr off¬ 
spring; We can explain ail feature* of ihrir social nrga hi nation in terms 
of the three determinants of social organization: nuuidon* protection 
{offense-defense), and reproduction, 

A group of primates con tines itself to a certain locality instead! of ever 
exploring new territory, “TerritorialIty, nr the residence of a primate 
group within well-defined territorial limits," writes Hoomn H lias been 
established for howler monkeys, red spider monkeys, various baboons* 
gibbons, and, in all probability* orang-unans. The list is restricted by the 
number of field studies made! It js quite possible clue nearly all primate 
genera .share this habit of r emainin g within a terrain area which they 
regard as ihrir own .md from which they attempt to expel trespassers, 
especially those belonging to their own species/" T The reasons for this 
are fairly dear: Familiarity with one's surroundings breeds confidence sml 
3 sense of security. Strange terrain makes one apprehensive; no one 
knows what dangers might lurk there- Furthermore one can forage 
more efficiently in familiar surroundings; not only b the actual rask of 
food getting rendered more efficient by an acquaintance with the details 
of the locality, but one needs ro spend less time on the lookout for dan¬ 
ger,* Hence the local-group character of primate society. 

The number of individuals in tfse local group will be determined by 
the mode of subsistence and by activities of offense and defense It the 
food supply is abundant nnd b concentrated in space, the local group 
will tend to be large. If, how ever, the food supply b meager and !i thinly 
distributed in space, the group will rend to l>c small- Other facto n rc- 
irtuning constant, a group cannot increase in numbers beyond a certain 
point without reducing the amount of food per capita per unit of dis¬ 
tance traveled in foraging. In short* density' of popuJarioft h ,1 function 
of concent rati tin of food supply. The size of the animal sbo b a factor 
of some significauccL A small animal fttttlfilUy requires less food tlian a 

T A, Houma, Mmtt Fwr Rtl*twns> Garden Gey Booh, New York, w F 31 <- 
Sm tl»o C Carper mr* who conclude* rhai ^ftfitmriaJtsni of JltTOps would wart 
to be 1 primitive buip chuaemkk of twwiduiJiTm priirnrfe grtwpinp. , + t ^$0* 
ei-tiicu of Atonkri. ■. jnd Apct" in Level* of in Hiflifigiejl jttJ Syr- 

lirrri, Robert Redfidd (cd-K BiolofiieAJ Sympt^a, *ol hatieattT, Pa- 194^ s 1 3i ' h 
i Wlitn t p, tLuV h of howler cmmluyi gtn "our to rhs edge af its mrnwtv IwJiik 
wenJerias iboot, fora^inf], it b co o ilKt slowed up by uiiftmiliiriry wiib the rosd*, 
&r>d 3 gtsod (kjl of milliner abet* and frustration ftnih^ w that it cratWly rami 
back to the known pathway* and haunts,"* !'W^n t op, O*- p- 2^ 


l„ ffe one, Other factors being constant, a given food supply will nourish 
a jrrc.ucr number of small ailiunfa than large 

will tend, 11 therefore, to vary inversely with the size of the individual 
member of the sprain; troop of moneys tend to contain more mcm- 

tiers than groups of anthropoid apes. , , 

Tiic ^iic of the local group it conditioned, too, by I'.icrors ot defense 
ami offense. An individual's safety and security are dependent to a (ret¬ 
ain extern upon the other members of his group who may observe signs 
of dinger, utter erics of warning, or attach or repel an enemy, ic sc* 
curirv "of individuals and the survival of group in the struggle for 
existence will depend therefore, upon the si« of the group, and to tlw 
extent that Other factors permit, the group will tend to assume that size 
whkh wlB provide the greaccsr chance of survivsl, Since nffense and 
defense ire conditioned by the size and fighting abilities of the species 
and hv their mode of life in the trees or nti the ground, these factors 
also affect the size of the beat group- Thus we we that the si« of the 
local group is a natural phenomenon and is regulated by natural forces 
which can be evaluated. Til this respect ir is no different from 0 hailstone, 
Turning now to die initmat structure of the local group, we shot! 
show how tills too, in every detail, is determined by the factors of 
nutrition, reproduction, and offense-defense. 

The focal group of subhuman primates is composed, as we have seen, 
of families anil perhaps some jJuk males without mates. The permanent 
family form is the result of continuous attraction between the sexes. The 
intimate social relation bemeen mother and offspring is initiated by the 
factor of reproduction and continued by those of nutrition and protec¬ 
tion, The social relation In:tween father and offspring is relatively in¬ 
significant, but such a tie does esisi; it is merely incidental to Ids sesuni 
rclarinmhip to their ni(ifher. Tlie number of mates possessed by a male 
and, correspondingly, the number of celibate mules are determined bv 
their respective aggressive-defensive abilities: the more powerful males 
get (fie most mates: the weaker, one or nunc at all. Whether the family 
group tends toward polygyny nt monogamy depends upon the relative 
size, stretigtlt, and aggrcs'.ivent>:> of the sexes. If the male is mote power¬ 
ful and tierce than the female, as in the case of the baboon, he will 
dominate rhe mating process and the family group will tend toward 
polygyny. If, however, the sexes are about equal in size and aggressive- 

•The reader will please note that we *ay "oilier factorr being constant." "will 
rend, 1 * ere, "Other factor*" «* rex alwayt ccrutxnt. die "trndency” of factor P to 
produce effect q miiy be uITke b^ jnoriwr ficior or facton But <!ocf noi mc-iti 
ihit \*c cannot, bv meam of evidence and logical andyw. (nnUtr factrtn and evaluate 
tliCfn ling I y.» whh the. full realicJtfO'l [hac in llitisx, if m.e ill, JCIUll P2.piitiuH5 r Il»rc 
■rhsu Dtu f aC*UF a operative. 


6 7 

ness, as they appear to he in she gibbon, they would play approximately 
piju j| roles lit the selection and Acquisition of mates and the fait lily 
would tend w l>e monogamous. If the female wet* the tinminam sci t the 
family would tend to be polyartdruus. We know of no primate species 
where this exist*, but our theory enables ui to say wftai the family or¬ 
ganization of such a species would be like if it did exist. 

Thus we see time primate soda! nrgauiinition in a El its variations and 
details, from the size and function of die local, territorial group to the 
structure and composition of the family group, is determined by the 
factors, of sul^istencc;, offense-defense* and reproduction and b lo he 
explained in these terms. 

We rum now to a particular primate species, H&m& sapient If our 
theory is sound so far, we must begin mir survey of human social or¬ 
ganization x^ elH the premise that all fomw of human society urc deter* 
ruined by the factors of subsistence* reproduction, and protection; ob¬ 
viously* what is true of all primate species must tie true of each one. 
Secondly* we must assume that any characteristics of social organization 
that are distinctively human and peculiar ro Hama $*pien$ are due to 
distinctive and peculiar ways in which the human primate carries on the 
activities of sulELtstenee* reproduction, and offense-defence. This assump¬ 
tion is merely a Corollary of our major premise. 

Before turning to behavior peculiar to man, we should note that ihe 
biological factor of reproduction is a constant in the human species, 
and therefore tr mav be eliminated from our consideration of differences 
of social organisation within dus specie* TWs docs not mean tint die 
factor of reproduction rs nor one of the determinants of hitman social 
organization in general It is a determinant, and an important one in 
this -npeeies as in all other forms <*f lift The continuous and mutual it> 
traction between the sexes, which i* die initial stage of ihe process of 
reproduction, results in a continuum union between mate and female, 
anti consequently establishes a permanent family form, lids Fact alone, 
ns we shall see in the next chapter, is sufficient to negate she theory, once 
widely held, that man began Ids career as □ human being in a condition 
of promiscuity* or the hypothesis that in an early stage of human social 
evolution the tics between mothers and children w ere the only significant 
social relaribnsliips. 

Anatomically* physiologically, and psychologically fusing dlls ram 
to designate innate, biologically determined nullities or processes), all 
peoples arc alike sexually > Therefore we cannot account for differences 

*MV f £fe not incmsifcd here in the question of genera or species of nun whtr 
thm Homu t Apifm r became what wt have to ny iboec om ipeoci weiuld he ap 
piidhk io ill. 


FR|*tmV£ CUt-TClE 

of social organization among live various groups of twrikuuJ m terms 
J tills constant. Contraception, abortion, ittcide «casi 
fibnlatioD and celibacy are practiced by one people or another bn these 
practice arc culture^ £i Md nor be confusedwith the Mpj 

EL of reproduction. Customs Rich « these condmon the °P«“£ 
Ef r ids biologicjt process ami affect the results, but they do not alter 
nauire. There are no differences of social urpm^mm withm the human 
species that we can attribute to differences in the biologies pro ■ 
£k of reproduction. We hat e therefore bur two detwminants. rather 
rium three, to reckon with in accounting for drffrrcnt fom.s ofjmman 
soda! organization. These factors arc subsistence and ufftme-defense 

The concept of subsistence may be expanded to include materials for 
clothing, ornaments, tools, utemik etc., as well as f™df ' n f w *!' * 
matcrii appropriated from nature to satisfy human needs. -Mode « 
sisteticc" may well embrace magical means employed to 
magic and ritual constitute a pxnto technology'. Offense and d 
includes intrasocictal enemies, such as witches and traitors, as 
foreign foes. And here too. supernatural means of offense and defense 

should be included, , . . „.„_j 

Enrimmi <*' natural habitat, plays the same role with 
social organ! ration as it docs to culture m general: particular 'oual sy*- 
rents are influenced by particular f^bitats; but in a consideration of 
human social systems in general, the factor of habitat may be reduced to 

Jn a consideration of variations of human sock! systems m gentra. 
therefore, wc need to consider only two variables: subsistence and 
offense-defense. When dealing with particular social systems we mu* 
rake habitats into account also, Hut in any problem involving merely 
variations af human social organization, the biological factor o rep 
ductiun is irrelevant, being a constant. 

As in our previous discussion of the role of technology in cultural 
systems (Chapter t, "Man and Culture '), wc may not be able m every 
instance to explain every detail of any given human social system in terms 
of subsistence. offense -defense, and habitat. Each of these factors is a com¬ 
plex variable. A social system as we observe it may show the effects tv 
influences no longer operative, and we may have no history "f the cu- 
ture. Wc may not bnuw what cultural influences ir his been exposed to 
in the past, and so on. In a given situation, therefore, we may not * 
able to explain every feature of soda! organization in terms of these ihree 
determinants. But these factors, plus that of historical-culmral influence, 
will take us ss far is it Is possible for us to go in the direction of scienanc 



With she decline of Qtrisriau theology -with in drama of die creation 
science unite mink to provide its otorfi Account of ihr nrigtn and evolu- 
Hon of man and human society* Serial outstanding into of the Inner 
half of the nineteenth century ttwdc cuntriburtons toward this end, In 
die field of soda! evolution, j- J- Bachofen and Joint F- McLennan de¬ 
veloped independently theories of social evolution in which mankind 
was assumed to have begun ire career in a condition of promiscuity, out 
of which emerged the institutions of mother right, followed eventually 
by father right and monogamy, 

Herbert Spertcer did not +l think that even in prehistoric rimes, 
pm mis eiijty u;t s checked by the establishment of individual connections^ 
prompted by uicii T $ likings and maintained against ocher men by force- 3 
With regard to the family in particular, however, he wrote: 1 

We have thus to begin with a state in wliich the family, as we under. 
st an lI li* can scarcely be said to exist. In the loose groups of men first 
formed* there is no established order of any kind: everything is in¬ 
definite, unsettled. In either cast there are no guides save the passions 
of [he moment, checked only hy f cm* of consequences*" 

In die United States, Lewis H + Morgan developed a rather elaborate 
theory of social evolution in which mankind was supposed to have begun 
its career in a condition of virtual chaos and promiscuity, and subse¬ 
quently tn have developed through various stages of group marriage until 
monogamy was achieved. 

The theory of primordial promiscuity had considerable vogue in the 
latter decade? of the nineteenth century* but it did not meet with uni¬ 
versal approval by any means. Darwin was willing tu admit that almost 

1 Herbert Spencer* "Pramjetuiy* Ffind pit f af Sarin fosS, yoL i. D- AppfeM 5c 
Co- New Yurt, Jfetff. pp. Mip ds. 

VWf* p. tfj*. 

6 $ 

JO VRLMITtYf cm,n ; Rt 

promiscuous or very loose intercourse was once extremely common 
throughout die world." Hut considering “what \vc know of tile jcJlmisy 
of all nude he felt “thtf | completely f promtsomws imer- 

eoutx in a state of nature is extremely improbable.’ Turning to man 
in cMiricular, he concluded: 

’Therefore. looking far enough hack in rhe stream of time, and judging 
from the social habits of man ns he now exists, the most probable view 
is that he aboriginally lived in small communities, each with a single u ife, 
or if powerful with'several, whom he jealously guarded against all other 

men." * t 

The English anthropologist Tyler look a similar view in iBNi: 

“Mankind can never have lived as a mere struggling crowd, each for 
himself, Sndety is always made oj> of families or households bound to¬ 
gether by kindly tics, controlled by rules of marriage and the duties of 
parent and child/ 1 * 

Thus, cis the nineteenth century drew to a close, there were three 
theories of social cvulution in the field: fi) fmrn promiscuity through 
group marriage ro monogamy* of which Morgan was the principal 
champion; (a) the family from the very tjegimung, espoused by Dmm 
ant! Tv lor; and (3) the "imrmrclufc/' of Bachofcn and McLennan, re¬ 
vived in >gj7 by Robert BrilTauh in Tb e Alatbcrs, No one theory was 
able to win out over the other* because the facts necessity to establish 
one and eliminate the other* were not available. 

Before one of these theories could l>e established—Of A new otic formu¬ 
lated—an important rum of events root place in anthropological circles; 
a vigorous reaction against evolutionist theory sec id- In America, this 
movement was led by' Franz Boas, He ind his students Came to the con¬ 
clusion that ir was futile and senseless to try to discover the original condi¬ 
tion of human society— or. in fact, to concern ones self with the gen¬ 
eral problem of cultural origins ar all.* 

Margaret Mead has expressed the point of view of die Boas school on 
the question of huirun soda! origins in a positive statement in die 
Ew-yrtopjeJtJ of the Social Sciences:* 

■Qiartei Darwin, The Dttctm of M ap* :d cd„ to!. s* J. A, Hill an d Cq^ New York* 

1^4, By 2*1. 

*F. Ik Tylor, /fidlfupdtaj?, 1 1 * P* #*■ # Li 

* M. J, Hcnko-vita Itfti btm perhaps the unKt ■rmnjlute fip^kwruan nf thi* ;K>inr 
of vtw- “Mridtm itnthropnloByp 4 " lit says,, “Ivh given owr the mtxh for 'ffrigiri* 
since rhe Fntie when it berate mcfnfefd thar. ewepi a* srcluiifiJtigkd ttinamh 
rm be dug out of the gmuud. the bcgitmlr^ oF 1 ny phase of Imtsuri aenvsty 
new be tcientifirtlly tstabSi tiled,' 1 Thr Et&fivmk Uf* of Primitive ptopift, AlfrtJ -A 
Knopf. New York, 1*40* p. 5« %l*o Kh .Man* rhe Sp«km^ AnnmL 
Sigm* JO Quarwrl** vat. *u pf* 73* 7J. ipjj- 
1 Mirgim AleadL Tamil 1 /, Prftdiive/ in Entyrfop*tdti of the SocUl Sciftncr f The 
Macmillin Company, New York, ifji. 

riiE TXfismnttof rsoxt Avrimopmo socrm 1 to &uM*M societs* ji 

AH of these attempt to reconstruct the earlier Jo nos of otgani^atioin 
of the family remain ar best only elaborate hypotheses. Comemponuy 
refotarimsi of th&e hypotheses rest up!>n ermasms of the cvohiuorwy 
position with its arbitrary postulation of stages and upon j methodologi¬ 
cal refused ro admit the discusd™ of a question upon which ibnc h not 
&nd pfifinat be tiny vfihJ evident'c f italics ^uppliud | r lh 
The Functionalist schools likewise have repudiated the ijutst of origins. 
Tims, Rd deli tie-Brown asserts dmz ^if we are to maU it [ijl, compara- 
mc sociology J the science It should be, ivc must reject resolutely di 
attempts to conjecture the origin of any institution or element of culture 
...the newer anthropology rejects./■]( rhe theories of origins, P T 
He has expressed this poinr of view repeatedly.* SSmUlrlv* Malmowsld 
and some of Ids Students titvc spoken disparagingly uf a search for tail- 
luril origins, using such phrases as "conjectural reconstructions* and 
* J rite Umbo of untrainnickd conjecture,"' * 

This is a rather curious position fur any science—or any organized 
endeavor calling itself a science—to rake* Science chums for itsdf a free 
and a full field, as far is its eyes can see attd is far as its hands can reach. 
But where, except in certain schools of eulnrral anthropology, has science 
attempted ro ctir itsdf off from such an endeavorr Certainly not in 
astronomy, geology, nr biology. Scientists unhesitatingly tackle such 
problems 35 the origin of galaxies, stars* planetary systems, and lift in 
general md in its many orders, genera, and specie*. If the origin uf the 
earth some two billion years ago, or the origin of life untold millions 
of years ago, can 1 m? and is a proper problem for science, why not the 
origin nf culrare a mere million s ears 3 * 0 ? 

The answer to this question by members of the Boas ant! the Fwnc- 
tionaJisr schools is that this particular search for uritrios is futile p they 
rannoc ever be found. As Margaret -Mead lias said flatly, it is a question 
upnn which there is not and cannot be any valid evidence. 11 Bur we re¬ 
call rhe wise words of Darwin on this point: 

It has often an d confidently Iieen averted that rtwti\ origin can 
never he known; but ignorance more frequently begets confidence than 
docs knowledge; it is those who bmw little, and not those who know 
mucfi, who so positively assert that thb or that problem will never be 
solved by science" w 

p A ft, Raddiffc^Broun. 'The Frame PrHrrkiu «f Anthropological Srodks," Fr^ 
tepintzr vf tht Brititb Associatim for the AdvMemtm of Sdenr r. 19^1, pp 

Cf, A R, RiLldiffe-Brewn* "The Methods of Ethnology iml Soria I AomfOpdog}'.*’ 
flf Stienci) nL t*. ffn *14-11(7; w, espccuLly pp, p^-rjp, 
ir| rf Tlie Study of Kinship SyjftmsT fwtrmi of iht Royal AwlrntpotexteM in* 
KlWte, VoJ, 7P, p. i, tf^t. 

Cf. B. Miijnewtki, ^Soeril Anthropology," in EnryAopjtdij 14 th cd, 

^ 10 , p. &% iitn R:.ut mmd Firth, Tecmrnnitx Primitive." in ibid. 
littEoducaGfi to tlie second edition of 7 T he Dcsceni of Man, 190+ 


VVc ini1icsimtin0lv elect to fallow licre Htltcr thun the pastime 

assertions" of Mead and others of die schools of Boas, Kndditfc-Rmvm, 
And Malinowski. We shall therefore take up again the cask tsf formulat¬ 
ing a ‘.nrntifitally adequate theory that wii) describe the original social 

condition of mam ^ IA 

The opponents of die i|nest-for-culture origins use such terms as ‘ con- 
jccmr^' "tmvrrifiablC ;nd Sheer specukdorm* They might—but we 
recall no instimee :it the moment—have used the term ulsOs 

An inference is a judgment based upon an oluicrvadun—nr another judg- 
incnL Thus, i excavate chipptd-at<mc implements but no potsherds, and 
infer i type of culture; or J know that a people subsiltcd wholly upon 
wild foods, md infer & type of vodety. Hypotheses are built up wirli 
inferences. Hypotheses are cheeked—verified. modi lied, or rejected—by 
fiurher observations. If a hypothec* can Accommodate a given body of 
data and is not incompatible with any known fact, and if, moreover, ic 
illuminates ihe data in quest]on ami renders them intelligible* if docs 
about all chaT science requires. 

In anthropology we have an enormous amount of dafci—rest thing* 
and events and accurate nbservadons and records of them—to work with. 
We have a pteourological record of the evolution of primates which* 
though incomplete, h substantial and informative. We know a great deal 
about the comparative embryology, anatomy, and physiology of mon¬ 
key*. apc^i and men. We have an archaeological record of cultural evo¬ 
lution winch, though partial and iiKOmpfcce, can sene as a sound baas 
fur many valid inferences. Finally, sve have numerous ethnographic 
accounts of exceedingly simple cultures whose societies are so primitive 
that they can have ^dvmceJ but little beyond the earliest stage ut hu¬ 
man social evolution. We thus liave j great amount of data from f° dr 
sources—palromolugy, comparative biulogy* archaeology, and cThmdogy 
—which will provide a solid foundation for valid inference and fruitful 

We eon cemstruer a rheorv of flic origin of human society—or more 
specifically, of the translormarinn of anthropoid society, the suderv of 
man's immediate prehuman ancestors, into human social organization— 
in the following way and in these steps; (i) We know what the social 
organization of subhuman primates is like; the general pattern of tins 
organization was set forth in the preceding chapter, -‘The Nature oi 
Social Oxg&nunriatL ' 9 (:) We are justified tn bdkving thar mans im¬ 
mediate prehuman ancestors conformed to this general primate pjticrn 
because of the fund a mental similarity—UMin mica I and phywoWeal— 
between man and other pfumtes* Therefore we have a valid conception 
of what the social organization of man's prehuman ancestors was like 
f|) We know what It is that dbringuisltcs man from other primates 

nrr n*Avsitio%' from AvruBopom socjfty to m<MA-v sociftt ;j 

fttisii the sr.intipoijir of bchaviof: dtp uvc of iynilwb and the ivmboi- 
based use of tools. (4I Tliertforc the transition from anthropoid so* 
detv to human society* iJic tittrufomtation of the social oranniiatinn 
of man’s prehuman forebears into human social organisation, was ef¬ 
fected by the operation of symbols and tools upon anthropoid social or- 
ifanizuriuiL We can trace this tninsfomution in considerable derail by 
deducing the conit*| lienees of iyntbolirtg and loot using upon social 

Hie general pis Hern of prehuman primate vocia! organration may be 
fiuiirttariKCil briefly as follow^: It consisted of (i) locd, groups 
vvhidi were, in mn\, composed nf (*) family groups* L*,* an aduk rode 
wto has one or more mans and their immature offspring. In species 
wltcre ihc male is the donimtnt sex—and this wi|J include the human 
jpecirv—some adult males have more than one mate while others have 
none* luring unable to obtain and keep one in rhe physical struggle for 
mates. Now Jet us see what effect die use nf symbols oml took will luve 
upon this tj-pc of social organization. 

] he first effect will l*c a pronounced trend toward monogamy. 

1 he social organization of man’s i mined bee prehuman ancestors was 
marked hy polygyny because, as we have already seen fp. 66), the male 
was die dominant sex, The mating process was therefore dominated by 
rtnles. In ihe nulling process. i.c., in the struggle among males for nates, 
the stronger and more aggressive males would obtain mure than one 
mare, leaving some of the weaker males with nunc at aJL 

rhe desire for mates, ft.u satkfaetfud T is„ however, felt by i\l 
males alike, Bui in a society and la a mating process based upon brute 
force, the desires of the weaker males are denied. The introjturion af 
symbols—amenta re speech—and took into this process traitsf firms re and 
indices possible an cifua! distribution pf mates. This L% the way it taint 

Why did tint two or three cdihaic mdes coupe rate in opposing one 
of ihdr polygynous fellows? They could overpower him and divide 
life routes among rhtftisdyes- Nothing of thb sort took place in baboon 
society, according in Zuckcnrian, ‘T here is no evidence* 1 * he $*y% that 
a fight "begins as a concerted arrack of un mated males upon the fiarem 11 
nf a powerful and aggressive male; as a matter of fact* There is no con¬ 
certed action nr Strategy about their" activiiics at ah . 11 

I he reason fur lack of cooperation h plain: bet nf a suitable means 
tyenmnuniicare the rerpikiit idea. Cooperation among subhuman primates 
R f Mr -dldc upon an ch rntnrary conceptual level and to a limited extent. 
Out: ape can communicate 3 simple idea to another by means uf ges- 

M 1 Zilcfcfirnmn, fit Stfrid Ufr nf Monkey $ and dp?t y K- Paul, Treneh* Towner 
* ^ ril h. London, iyj: T pp r 

74 nUMrtlV* C1PLTXTHK 

tyres, Of stuns, but anything more complicated than 'ltd is impossible 
for them. Even such simple'ideas as “You go around the hill that way 
while 1 go around this way and we will meet on the other side, or 
“Tomorrow mom mi; when the keeper come through the gate job ta 
down and pretend you are sick,” are far beyond rhe possibilities of any 

subhuman primate, , , , , , - 

With the emergence nf the ability to syniljol arid the development of 

articulate speech and language, however, the ability to commumcare 
ideas becomes almost unJtmircd. When certain anthropoids had become 
human and hat! acquired speech, rhe weaker, celibate nudes could form 
a plan, communicate it to one another, and csecure it cooperatively. To- 
tether they could overpower the powerful, pnlgynmi* male in a '■-ingle 
struggle, or, one by one, they could stand watch over him until lit fell 
usken and then despatch him. In any event, articulate speech made 
versatile and csttnsivc coupe ration possible, and coupe ration led tow a ru > 
uniform distribution of mates. 

Ir might be argued that the stronger males could c(K>perate with one 
another too. and thus maintain dteir advantage, bur this reasoning is un~ 
sound. They would derive no advantage from such cooperation because 
they arc, by the very’ nature of the situation, rivals, l hey do not have 
common interests-, on the contrary, each wants as many mates as he can 
get at the expense of Ills fellow*. Cmwiequcndy there could tm only com¬ 
petition among the strong. Hut with the weak it would be different. 
They have interests in common. AlJ wane mates; they have a common 
foe. By united opposition to the aggressor they could all gain their end*. 

The human use of tools, i.e.. tools, symbols and concepts integrated 
into a single mind-body process, 1 ® also tended to break up pdlgynotB 
families and to bring about an equal distribution of mates. 

Apes, as we have noted earlier, me tools, bur rhe process of their 
use is sporadic and occasional. The tool does not enter the psychic life 
of the ape as deeplv as it does with man, to the ape the tool is richer 
more than an accessory, a foreign object. Man, on the Other hand, so 
incorporates tools into his life, psychically as well as meclumteallv, tint 
they* become inner realities to him as well as things in the external world. 
Now the significant thing about tools in our present discussion is rhat 
a weapon can make a small and weak individual the equal of a large 
and powerful one. Among tool-using men, therefore, mere brute force 
loses much of its advantage: little David can fay low the big Goliath, 
So in the competition for mare* the little man derives an advantage 
from weapon* that the anthropoid cannot secure. 11 By arming himself 

“See mii prrvinm discussion of iha point in Oopitr t, “Man »nd Culture, p, 7- 
"Apes uk tools with drill anil vcrnniiiy, but not in frghiing. As Kruelter pauh; 
"Sticks arc brandished ihrcacrningiy in play CMiibtr. But Jet a chinrpuueee fuse h» 



the lifrJt man can actually l+ add cubits tu III* xranire " The strung can 
arm themselves* trio. but wha\ otic figlm with stings, spear*, blow guru 
and poisoned chins. Lows and arrows anti puroli. superiority of size attd 
strength loses much, if not a] I, of its advantage. The link fellow can kill 
the strongest man with a knife, ding, or poisoned dirt. The weapon 
tends to make ril men equal . 11 

One of the ebjectifJffl raised against the theory of the original pro- 
misaiotis honfc, out nf which various forms of the family evolved, until 
finally the stage of monogamy was attained* u as that many of the most 
primitive peoples of the world arc monogamous and that polygamy 
flourishes only in more advanced culture*. According to the theory nf 
primordial promiscuity the reverse should he mir: "group murugc" or 
polygamy should prevail on lower cultural levels, with monogamous 
tendencies appearing la re and growing slowly as culture advanced. But 
as Darwin pointed out Jongago s M there art tribes ending almost at the 
bottom of rhe scale, which arc strictly monognmous," w This ob>crv vi¬ 
rion has been confirmed by subsequent ethnographic investigation; it hits 
been well established that many of the most primitive trilies known, such 

the Wddas, the Andamanese, various groups of pygmies, etc,. are 
monogtuKius. 1 * This, however, is precisely what our theory culls for. 
Before man acquired culture in sufficient degree to influence hk be¬ 
havior, his $cx unions tended to he potygynom. Bur after the faculty 
of speech had developed sufficiently to permit versatile commuiiicarion 
of ideas, and consequently* cooperation, and after rhe use of cools had 
become traditional and effective,, sexual unions became increasingly 
monogamous, k was only later. in higher stages of cultural development 
rihit this equitable distribution of mates couIJ be disturbed ami polygamy 
established. Our theory, therefore, not only agrees with the evidence 
from the most primitive cultures known; it explains why they have 
monogamy rather than some other form of marriage. 

VVc turn now to another extreme! v interesting and important aspect 
of the transformation of prehuman primate social organisation Erm> hit- 

frmper,, icul Tic dfupj hh slick and plu nerm into* »rwk wirh Kaisth asuj teeth." V. L 
Kn.fb*r« "Subdiimun Culniral Begmnin ^ 41 T&t Quarterly Rrvirw of Bhbi:y m vnl. 

J~ p r 

A revolver or “ii* jfiocKt^r" 1 is oflce called mlloqmiUy "the uld eiju^iiicr Pfc In 
errMirr ifrnra in <mr todrtiy today, 
w T£.f DcroW of ii.l clI 4 chap so. T 9 *H- 

,H C.f R H- Lowie, "AmhropuJogy and Law,'* in TW &u m ijJ Seitntt/ jtzJ Tktir 
fvTrrrvletiotUf, William F. Ogbum and A Goldemvdwr feds.), p. c;; John M. 
f J Mper % ,! 17ic Fariy History nf the Family/' Frjmitir-e <HjjI. vnl, }. pp jG-Jy, 1^^+ 

^ 1 . J* Hen&pvftXt rhe SptxEdng Animat” Xi Qmntttfa voi, n, p. % 



man w *tv. The subhuman primate family is a *=* grouping; It tm 
funned to provide wBttd satisfaction and » traitttamed for dus purpose, 
cuid this purpose alone. If has no economic fan conns. To J«J™£ £ 
tnocher suckles her young and on occasion gives thttn fond wfuefa she 
has foraged Bur this is not i taction of the ftom/y, bm of the morer- 
child fEttddp. The mate in the monkey « ape family las »> « - 
ntnnie functions. He does not provide cither hts mate or her offspring 
irtth food On the coucrary. he not infrequently deprives them of «■ 

even snatching it nut of the lands of 3 baby. 

Neither d<«s the simian family as such have any protective functi 
to sued of. A troop will dufciul itself against enemies upon outturn, 
barthis rs nor clone on a family bads. The male bead of a family -roup 
might arrack ah intruder who threatened him and h* niatebmhe 
would do JO as an act of «lf-delettsc. nor as the head of a family. As ■ 
matter of fact, the male is sometimes aggressive and ’ 

mate and her offspring, and the mother may be obUged to ™ h "' 
seif and her children against tlw aggressions of the father. I h _ 
fense agamst enemies, to be sure, among the lower pnmnrcs, bur tr nj a 
fu.KT.on of The individual or the Em-.d gwop ttffc* ft* t.ui.dy 

Thus we see that of the rlirec functions of social organization m gen¬ 
eral—food. set, protections lie simian family lias only one: that nt sex. 
The family among the lower primates is a group lomied by «xunl ni¬ 
tration; its sole taction ii the gratification of UK sexual appetite. In 

short, the prehuman family fe a sex group. 

When man acquired articulate speech and language a new way of life 
was made possible, tamely, one of almost unlimited cooperation in nil 
sorts of activities. We hast already *ren that the weaker mate m simian 
society could not unite in opposition to the stronger m the competitive 
stmctile for mates because they could not communicate the idea of con¬ 
certed attack to one another. In most ™cx no advantage could accrue 
frum cooperative endeavor in foraging for food among tht o^cf 
primates because of the narure nf rhe mode of subsistence; 1C was as ef¬ 
ficient for cadi to forage for himself as to work together even if they 
could. But even if there had been situations in which cooperation would 
have been advantageous, they could nor have availed themselves of it 
save in the simplest of situations. Without speech, therefore, ihe lower 
primates were debarred from progress in the soda! orpnimiian of food 
gelring, social evolution was rendered impossible in this sector. 

With regard to protection and defense die situirimi among die mb- 
Human primates is much (he tame: a minimum amount of cooperation 
within the local croup, but an inability to advance beyond that minimum 
One individual warm others of danger by uttering appropriate cnes. 
Whether this is "true cooperation" or nut depends, of course, upon ones 

nif transition ehom axihwoco socirrv iium^ socirnr 77 

definition;, certainly it Ls no marc linn a him rudimentary farm of the 
process* In attack and defense against enemies there is 11u plan, no work¬ 
ing together The stories of baboons posting some of thdr number as 
$entineb to warn others who art raiding 1 mat/* field of danger imply co¬ 
operation, But the observed facts—one or WO baboons on the watch 
while the ocher* foed-an susceptible to another, and nit ire plausible, 
interpretation. Not all baboons are equally mature, experienced, prudent, 
or hungry. Some go readily to the field* to forage, while others lag war¬ 
ily bchin 4 * looking over the situation carefully before venturing farther. 
These are the so-called sentinels. There is further objection to the al senti- 
UcT interpretation. How could baboons sdett and dcsigmit certain indi¬ 
viduals to serve as sentinels? How could the will of the group he made 
known 10 the individuals? How could agreement be reached in this mai- 
ter? Do individuals serve in rotation as sentinels? Are the sentinels led 
by others in return for their services? How could an arrangement al this 
sort be effected without articulate speech? 

Cooperation among The lower primates in food gening nod offense snj 
defense is of the simplest kind and extremely limited in eaten t. further¬ 
more, without speech it is impossible for tlicm to advance tayopd this 
elementary farm. 1 lii> is why social evolution is impossible far mon¬ 
keys and apes. With man* however, the situation is different. Given 
articulate speech and language, the potentialities for cooperation are 
axmendowdy enlarged; in fact, they are virtually railkutcd. We shall 
sec how primordial mm realized these potentialities. 

Again let us recall that man is an animal and* like all other animals, is 
engaged in a Hfe-and-deaili straggle for survival. The situation in which 
the first human beings found themselves was peculiar, if not unique. 
Compared with other animal*, they' were weak and defenseless At al¬ 
most every point they were inferior to many of their competitors in 
the Darwinian struggle. They had lost their coic of hair and their facility 
in climbing trees* They were not poistsrcd of great strength. They were 
not fleet of foot. They could nut fly, nor were they at home in the 
water. They had a thin skin and no protective armor. In the sense* of 
sight, smelt, and hearing they were not outstanding; in fact, they were 
definitely inferior to many of their neighbors iti this respect. They bad 
no potent venom like the snake, no sting like the hornet. I hey did nut 
even have an especial!v offensive odor to protect them. 

We may assume, on the basis of evidence from very primitive cultures 
directly known to us* thar primordial man did not regard himself as the 
lord of creation, or even as the being for whom creation was performed. 
On the contrary* be had a realistic appreciation of his own weaknesses 
and tiiortcomlngis. He realized and frankly' admitted that birds and 


jtLjiliCi nod bcaufc were lib ^upcrion In irony rtspccts. In fact^ he com¬ 
monly made gods of than and bc^ughr iimi help and ‘power/‘ So 
weak and defenseless were early men t bar one wonders how they man* 
to survive at ah. What evidence ivc lt*ve indicates iliac early man 
was numerically insignificant when compared with his- brute ficighbon. 
It might possibly be that had nun been more numerous in primordial 
rimes'so utc same powerful carnivore might Jtave formed the habit 
of hunting and eating him. he would have been exterminated entirely, 
Buc like the ugly duckling nr GndcftlU in die folk tale, the ucA hi tic 
man \von out in spite of everything, eventually rising 10 mastery- and 
dominance over all other species. This b the story of man's adventure 
on this planet, fc b the oldest and greatest of success stories- h is little 
wonder that stories of this son have always appealed to man. The 
popularity of the Christian epic* in which the weak and lowly are des¬ 
tined for triumph and everlasting glory and in which ihe meek shall in¬ 
herit the earth, is withour doubt due m large put to die appeal of this 
ffdfc theme, Buc if man has won for himself a place of dominance, ii has 
been because of his cultural equipment rather than I us physical prowess- 
And culture is a cooperative enterprise which has been made possible 
by symbols- 

Culture is* as we have noted repeatedly, a iiiechaniiun whose function 
h to make life secure and continuous for groups and individuals of rhe 
Sitmian species- jtist as biological organisms behave in a manner the con¬ 
sequences of which tend lo be security of existence and continuity nf 
life, so do cultural systems behave in such a manner as to protect and sus* 
tain the human organisms within their embrace. And ju t os biological 
organisms develop means nf greater control over tlicir life process, so da 
cultural systems tend to develop more effective means of making life 
secure and perpetual for groups of human beings. Ai bottom, the func¬ 
tion of culture k zoological the maintenance of life of the human specks. 

Hie possibility of extensive and varied cooperation having been intro¬ 
duced into primate social organization by the maturation of the symbolic 
faculty, expressed in articulufc speech, and since cooperation in subsis¬ 
tence and defaM-offtmc is a way nf making life more secure, we m*y 
expect ro see cultural systems develop in the direction of more extensive 
and effective cooperation. Ixrt m sec how this was effected rri the earliest 
stages of human social evolution. 

Primordial man inherited the local territorial group and family organ¬ 
ization from his prehuman ancestors. But it was the family primarily that 
was co provide the foundation for social evolution; this was the organiza¬ 
tion that was to be nunsformed by means of symbolic communication 
into human society. 


\\ r e Iiavc emphasised the facf that the family group amotitf anthropoids 
u r is formed and held together by sexual a traction* The function of the 
prehuman fanuiy was sexual, the gntificrtion of the sexual appetirc. It 
must be pointed out; however, that this anthropoid family was more rhun 
a mere physical and physiological affair, Union between the sexes is more 
then, a biochemical reaction; it is a social relationship as well Similarly, 
the relationship between mother and child was social as well as pirturitivc 
and nutritive. The relationship between the “father,* l.e„ the mate of 
the mother, and the offspring, too. was social in character, We see, then, 
that the subhuman priinare family, alt I tough at bottom an organization 
of biological processes, is also a cluster of sockl—but nnitmlEuml—re- 

Witli the emergence of man, a new factor was introduced into this 
constellation of prim4re family relations!lips, namely, symbol!rig ttprtswd 
in articulate speech. This new factor transformed'the' anthropoid family 
in both form and function in the process of humanizing it. It diminished 
polygyny and fostered monogamy, as we have already seen. And as a 
consequence of the possibility of extensive and versatile cooperation 
b the human species, and of the advantages to Ire derived therefrom, 
the family acquired two nno functions, mstntiy, mutual aid in tubtistence 
and in defense and offense. 

Tile effect was revolutionary. The sole function of the prehuman family 
was the gratification of sex need). This was a constant, which means that 
there was no possibility of social evolution. When, in the transit inn from 
anthropoid to man, the family acquired the ability- end the means to be- 
have cooperatively in the life-sustaining activity of subsistence and rhe 
life-preserving activity of defense and offense, the dour was opened 10 
virtually unlimited social evolution because of the almost limitless pos¬ 
sibilities of rhe development, of the expansion and extension, of coopera¬ 
tion. r 

71 te funnula for the prehuman, anthropoid family i s F = f (sex)—the 
family organization is a function of sex. The formula for the human 
family is F = f (sex) X C (subsistence and defense-offense)—the family 
ts a function of sex rimes cooperative endeavor in subsistence and m de¬ 
fense-offense. We sav times rather than plus to indicate the relationship 
between rhe sex factor and tire cooperative factor in this formula because 
the relationship between rhetn is one of inverse ratio; as the mutual-aid 
factor increases in magnitude and significance, the sexual factor decreases 
correspondingly. Thus we shall see that as social evolution progresses, 
the biologies! factor of sex diminishes in importance, whereas the cultural 
factor of mutual aid increase. Or to put the nutter in terms of cause and 
effect: it is the expansion of the factor of mutual aid. m tlic cultural con- 


TCxts of Gobastcncg and dcfciw-offciisi! t tIiesi brings almut the develop¬ 
ment of ciUtmCi But we are getting sl^ad tif our stori'i we ^hi\]l n:tum 
to this point brer. 

Any specie will lend to moke foil use of any means itiat it possesses 
to make life secure and also to esparul anti extern! itself. This general¬ 
ization* arrived at inductively* we believe in l>e a valid one; we know of 
no face thur tend to contradict It- It is aim fl corollary of one of flic 
principles formulated in Chapter i> “Energy and Took," as a consequence 
of the application of rhe second law of diennodynamics to living material 
systems; the life process b self-expanding* self-augmenting (see p. 3d). 

We may apply rhe above gciWalitiijtm specifically to cooperation: 
cooperation bebg a way and a means of making life secure* any species 
possessing rite ability to behave cooperatively wilt urn only avail itself 
of this ability but will extend and de^tbp it as far as possible. We shall 
now' undertake m rncc the course of this extension and this development 
in the human species, wfueh means within socioculmra] systems since 
coopers bun h organised and expressed within that extra somatic tradition 
that we call culture. 

The family was the basic social unit of primordial human society as 
it was of its antecedent anthropoid society. It was here that the Em 
effects of speech and tools were felt in rhe shift toward monogamy And 
it was here cooperation as a human way of life made its first ap- 

pfiirancc. 1 * 

The family in prehuman society was not. as we have already seen, a 
mutual’3iJ group. With the exception of the mothers care of immature 
offspring, each one looked out for Isis, or Iter, own interests. With die 
advent of speech T however* it became possible for husband and wife ro 
help cadi other in all sorts of w ay's, for children to help each other, and 
for children to assist or take care of, their parents as the latter came to 
need aid and the former became able to provide it, There were ionumer- 
ablr occasions upon which mutual aid would be a decided asset in the 
burine?* t»f daily living, and we may assume tint* given the capacity and 
rhe means nf cooperation, ihk mutual 3hi would he forthcoming. Dhl 
men and w niiittl have some recognition of the value of ccxipc ration, some 
appreciation of rhe advantages of mutual aid* conscious or unconscious. 

the very outset of their career as human beings? It &cem% reasonable 10 

Jt k miclit he misled ehjt with the appeaiiittee of m ■bjliry to btluit ]Ji ■ 
new way an argamzarinii would be formed xd her with %vfadi to expert it. Hi* 
ru^gnrion b logical but not rtiliak. Nature b ettHuiitdert; she builds the new 
iipddi the pJd P The primate family firmly estiLIixhrd bcfvt e the ability to a*- 
operate (ippctrcd. And the family wo* of vital Importance in ihc process of 
end rnn-ivi] The new ability of mutual aid was therefore odaped no tbia- already 
exuding i-nJ fundamentally tmiemfe. 


suppose rJuir they (lid; an appreciation of cooperation would go banJ in 
hand with the capacity for it. After the achievement of monogamy, 
therefore, the nest consequence of speeds was the transformation of the 
primate family into a mutual-aid group, 

if mutual aid within the nuclear family, i.t, husband, wife, and diet? 
offspring, is desirable, why hut extend it beyond die family's boundaries^ 
Biological rdatfonships tmoog anthropoids, as well is iff other living 
beings, tincnd beyond die family group, One im parents, .uni they luo 
ltave parents, and so on indefinitely^ One's paretic* have siblings, and rhese 
have descendants; the children of one's own siblings provide other 
branches of die genealogical tret. One's mate has parents, sibling \ iml 
otJier relatives. A species b thus a comiiuimis web of ties of cnnsiiigumtty 
and affinity. And as we have previously noted, all these biological relation¬ 
ships— of urates, parents and offspring, and dblings—are also sosbi re¬ 
lationship* as well 

In prehuman primate society the relationship between an individual 
and vuiticone outside hk family group, but w ithin his local territorial 
group, war simple and relatively msignilic-Jiit, Members of different 
family groups were potential vex partners or rivals to each other. The) 
were a bo "comrades’ 1 in the sense rlur they belonged M the ^mc hind 
foraged in r he same territory, faced the same dangers, and enjoyed life; 
together. But this was all Between individuals in different family groups 
a ample and generai social relationship alone prevailed. They were not 
relatives in the sense of father, cousin, aunt, ctc. + to each other. Otic was 
simply ‘ 1 an( yth er ■ i nd i vidua] - who -dne^ - nut-br \ u ng - to*- my * fami I y^gxtnip - 
but-is-a-membcr-nf-my-locaJ-group 11 to another, Thus die local terri¬ 
torial groups, or hands* in anthropoid society were merely loose asso- 
danorts or aggrtg-idoEis of families. 1 lie families were in association with 
one another like inarhli-s in a sack- they were not knit together by sped Ik 
and particular tics between their respective constituent members. Spe¬ 
cific genealogical relationships could not be defined, recognize d, nr ex¬ 
pressed in the absence of arttcuLirc speech. How, for example, could 
"cousin' 11 be distinguished from "uncle" or Sibling" without language? 

In human society, however, it Ijcomic possible cosily to ilisdiigcmh 
all Eiii/incf of refarionsiups, extra familial as weH a* familial* and rebriud- 
slhp nf affinity' is well as ihc*t fpf cWlHJlgLimitv. In the earlier stages of 
human society these evir-ifaunlkl relations hipv became imporcaett since 
they provided the ra^ material and n framework for cooperative organ* 
Btarion. Bur these extra familial relationships became significant in their 
sadal aspect only. Primordial man was quite fgnottflt uf the physiology 
of production, 11 and therefore his social systems were incapable of 

"Hits question ba b*cu dented tnd itluv perhaps Hill k dfbiublt with fftVrfKC 
prwnr-day ibongfoo, dcipirc the tef rh*r reputibk crtuiognpltcf* have cbimioJ 


taking account of hioJcgictl relationships. Furthermore* for the purpose 
of coupe move endeavor In food getting and dofensc-offense* actunJ blood 
rehiriomhip* were irrelevant. Ignorance of the biological nature of re¬ 
production \vaii therefore no bur to the development of an effective social 
system on the basit of cooperation* 

J What the primordial culture system did, therefore, Was to go ciuftidc 
the family group and Ljrganizjc ami incorporate cxtnfamilkl consanguine 
retain es into a crxipcrjti'-c system along wirli tiie members of tFie nuclear 
family. This is simply and briefly stated, but the process of its accomplish* 
merit was undoubtedly a Jong and difficult one. These extra familial re¬ 
lationships had Htst to lie defined and irudc explicit. Imuiediaic fawdy 
relationships are of course apparent, in anthropoid as well as in human 
societies; you see and have dealings with your Btttoft your immature 
offspring, and t while you arc stiEJ n child, with your parents, Bur this b 
not the case w here exuafamiUd relatives are concerned in simian sociery* 
Here one cannot recognize his parents' patency and their siblings, for 
tlie simple reason that his parents have severed the ipfcific social relation¬ 
ship which formerly existed between them and their parents and their 
parents* siblings. ConsecoErntly* on the anthropoid level one cannot 
recognize and distinguish his grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousin^ fltid 
so on, Hy die time one i$ old enough ro mare he has lost track of his own 
siblings, and so cannot reckon with nephews and msecs. In short, without 
language one cannot keep track of extra familial relatives at all. 

It was articulate speech, language, that made it possible to recognize 
and distinguish these extrafamilial relations tups, to organize them into 
a social! v effective system. The first step was the naming of the various 
kinds of relationship. We may assume that this process began with the 
Lmtncdiaic family and was subsequently extended to extra- md ffiterfaJK0y 
areas. At a matter of fact, the process of designating these relationships 
may we]] have originated in the social intercourse between parent and 
child* it b itnpmdve to note how widely spread relationship terms like 

tlm evident «uJ ucightd by them jirovc* rhjt lomc peoples CVCii today 

rnniin in gucli ignorance. The issue haf been confuted by the fact that tome trilso 
believe rhai eppatantm h a prctfqiihttt to rhiklbeaniig, bui demy thai wnitn emit* 
LCttguptioit, tn my cv eni, it tec mi ufe «p jtmhure kii ipftincf of the phyikJogY 
of reprnduetiors tv primurdbi may Why should it be assumed time he fciww more 
titan ha inrhrdjwrLl /orebetn? Fuitfiererore* the ^fxcu of life ijv our to obvimii 
and Klf-cvtJcJtr by ttiy me am Ones a fact b blown it may «etn idf-cvidem. Bus 
to coruirci pregnancy wkh an act of eepnl^tjoti week* or eaen mofltht before rather 
Hmii relate it from a mystical or magical point of view with one of * ihun^nd 
xnd one other events a to expect zophsricaied rreimupiE* of corrrlstir/ti of purr tithe 
ncan—panktdrtiy when pregnancy Joa not il-wayi fdiuw copulation h y any nicatt!. 
An imdmtmffqff of "the facts of life* b indeed a mark of j fairly high degree oi 
sophisticate ft- 


p^pth ddda, crc_, art, They art found all over rh c wnrtd 
among rlw roost diverse languages and cuJitires, Jr is tempting to ascribe 
till* uniformity to the similarity of "baby words'* iht world over, but 
there may be a better explanation. 

To name a relationship h to make ii explicit, apparent, something 
which can he reckoned with. But naming doei more it specifies te'h 
wtef kind of a thing it is. C&ai is me thing; cupper, another. An mcle 
h nnc kind of relationship; a a different kind. KinjfJy, naming 

things classifies them; these animals we dull call jnimmnh; those, reptile*. 
Similarly, we imy group a number of specific relationships mm a claw 
and call them cousin. Urns, relatives can be named, thinning with mem- 
tiers of the immediate family group and extending outward from this 
group along genealogical lines indefinitely. Relationship depending upon 
fhc marriage tie Can be included as well as those raring upon the parent- 
child and sibling relationship, ft shourhf be noted also that it k the rcklimi* 
ship which b named rat Iter than the person occupying it + The two things 
may amount to the same in the end, bur it makes for greater clarity and 
understanding to look ar it in this way. Thus wc have a social relationship 
which wc call ''brother,* 1 An indefinite number of individuals may occupy 
this rditiomhip. A person is called ' brother/' and Indeed is my brother, 
because he stands tn a certain social relationship to me, not the other way 

Wc must now* stare specifically what wc mean by rektiotiship. We 
have already made it clear that wc mean social rather than biologic si 
relationship.. But u hat is a social relationship? Ln a word, it is die wav in 
which two or more persons bcJiave toward one another, Wl m they do, 
say + fed and think; and b&w they do these things. A sodstl relationship 
is a group of reciprocal or correlative duties, tights, obligations, prerog¬ 
atives. One person has certain duties and obligations toward Mother in 
muni lie may legitimately make certain demands upon the other which 
my not lie refutiitl These duties, rights, privileges, and prerogatives may 
be defined minutely mid specifically m a social system, or they may he 
expressed in general terms only. Thus l might have a general obligation 
to contribute food to a certain relative at unspecified times or in times 
of need. Or I might be obliged to supply him w ith fish* or plant fm>d only, 
and then only upon certain specified occasions, ! might l*e required to 
treat j certain relative with general respect, or I might have to show thb 
rapect iti a definite and particular w ay with some gesture or ritual ob¬ 

But whether the requirements are indefinite and general nr specific 
and particular, they are always real, concrete, and significant in the lives 
of all concerned. In other words* they are alw ays expressed in overt he- 
hirtior of one icind nr another,, whether it be feeding, dressing, training, 


teaching, defending, nurang, loving, admontliing, punishing, respecting, 
joking, nr burying. 

To get back to primordial hunun society. A cooperative organization 
for the pmproe of utaking life more secure was formed in Hwi way: 
(*) The social aspect of iornifamily rdatmnstiipt was recognized and 
made signinejm in it* own right; they had been merely incidental to their 
respective biological connections in prehuman primate sndety. (2) This 
was made possible by la signage, w lik'li not only made cixipe ration within 
the family possible, hut orgttfUFcd and regulated it so that it could l*e 
carried on effectively* (3) What uns done |Sm within the family waft 
not undertaken and effected outside the family. This, too, was accom¬ 
plished by defining md classifying these relationship* by means of kin¬ 
ship tenra* 

Thus a cooperative orgsnkapon of relative* was formed a bom the 
family as a nuckm. It consisted of the husfymd, the wife, 1 * and their 
diildrcn t together with the parent* of husband and wife, the parent^ 
siblings and their children, and so on. It wke a group in which each was 
bound m all the others by social tie*. Each one had duties toward the 
other*, depending upon the kind of relationlup, and in turn enjoyed 
rights amd privileges from them. They helped each other in the fund 
quest; in providing shdter fmm the elemenrs and defense from their 
enemies; they lowed, respected, mughr, disciplined, punished, praised* 
nursed, and buried one another, it was* in face. a mutual-aid sodery* 
a community of human beings esmying on die struggle of life together. 

Our discussion *0 fir has taken the family as its point of departure- 
We have shown how the biologically determine*! social rebritmships of 
lilt anthropoid family becajfic wcial relationslijp* with mutual-aid functions 
in human society. Tins tmrwfoimition meant that whercis social relations 
within the anthropoid family arose out of the needs of the individttd organ¬ 
ism anti were directed toward the satisfaction of those needs—gratification 
of the sexual appetite, maternal care of offspring—social relation* in the 
human family came to lm-e a different source and objectives the welfare 
of the group Through mutual aid in subsistence, shelter, and defense. In 
shnrt, in the ftrstfiropnid family social relation 1 - were functions of the 
individual organism; iti rite human family they became increasingly funo 
tfpm of the family group. In the anthropoid famih 1 soda) relations were 
suhrirdinate to wxml requirements; in the human family actual need* 
became incrc-tsingh miliordifutisd to M^rid requirement.*. Social evolution 
among priiiuio above and Ixyond the anthropoid level was made po>- 
mW e try the emanetparion of the family as a social unit from the limitations 

"W* arc nut hem eoocemed wLih rite question uf rmonoptmy verun polygeny, 
we wish only to present the faintly in in ninpEnr form. 

titt . thwji i tow from anthropoid socutY to ucman society ftj 

of the weeds i>f miimJiuJ ! h (/logical organism.. HtologpcaJ union Ijctwcen 
rJje seres wa# retained ts the basis of the new social organization and tbt 
puiat about winch it revolved, Kuf human sncicTy was now free to dc- 
vd<jp on * new plane, and free 10 extend itself indefinitely. 

In establish * Liturhip tic, i-c.. a sociocultural relationship, with an in- 
dirtdual outside ones own family is, of course, to relate two family grout* 
by a common bond, since rite person w ho is outside the one group will 

. 1 ^ other. Thns, rhe process of establishing kinship ties 

with iiiiHvjjLiab outside the family group and of incorporating them 
witilin the mumd-aid organization.’ being an activity carried on by each 
family, is therefore a process of relating one family group to another, 
of forming n mutual-aid organization of Which fmiktt are die units. 

Tfit first kind of union between families to become socially significant 
would undoubtedly he that between the famllv group in which one is 
j child and rhe family group in which be is a parent. } n other w ords, 
the social relationships established biologically in the anthropoid family 
w ould be the (irsr to become socially dgnificant on the human level Thus, 
die social relations with my parents, established in infancy, would tend 
to persist after 1 had grow n up, married, and had children; and in turn 
my relations with my children would tend to jicrsist hevand rhe time of 
their marriage and be extended to rheir children. Similarly, rile relation¬ 
ships established ficru'cen myself arid my brothers and sisters during in¬ 
fancy and childhood would be continued after we Jud grown up, married, 
and had children of our own; and the relationships between siblings would 
be extended to the children of these -ablings. In this way human social 
relationship would be established and extended, up jnd down the gene¬ 
alogical tree (with myself as a starting point 1. and collaterally to rov 
parents’ siblings and their descendants, to my ablings and their descend¬ 
ants, and so on. 

So far wc have Isecn concerned only with relationship established and 
extended along UntjJ and collateral lines of consanguinity. We now turn 
to marriage as a means of establishing relationships along affinal lines; 
Families can be brought into relationship with each other for purposes 
of mutual aid upon an affinal as well as a consanguine basis. And of course, 
an inter family tie may he both consanguine and affinal: I may marry- my 
remain. A doable tie, such as this, may lie stronger than either one alone, 
and as wc shall sec, in rhe early stages of human social evolution, when 
it w« imperative that the tie lie tween cooperating units be intimate and 
strong, more Than tine tie was almost alivavs used. 

But there were serious obstacles to be overcome before families could 
be customarily bound to each other by marriage in order to Form a two- 
fanujy cooperative group, The prehuman primate family was compact, 
autonomous, and independent. It was marked by strong endogenous tend- 


enticei attraction between father and daughter, between mother and son, 
and ttftwecn brother and sister; the onty txupmous feature nozc from 
rivalry between f uller and son as tlser tarter matured sexually, Moreover p 
the male heads of the anthropoid families were rivals of one another in 
the competitive struggle for limes, flic earliest t>f human families must 
have in hmi red many af tlicsc features from their anthropoid ancestors. 
If, therefore, families were to be united by r image in order to form 
a larger cooperative group, wnml-vu [rural systems would have to find 
some ivcty in overcame three resisranccsi. This way was found in the * v in- 
vefician" of incest ::nd the institution of rules to prohibit it. 

Incest uwv l>e defined as rhe union r in sexual intercourse nr in marriage, 
of two individuals of the opposite sex who stand in too close a refotintvdiip 
to each nr her, " Relationship" here meuns social rdfltkmship, regardless of 
biological considerations, "Too dose" means any relationship that is 
deemed by society to he too close, and this conception will vary fmm 
one society or tune to another; it may be between parallel cousins, first 
cousin^ or persons belonging eo the same dan or having rhe same surname. 
Each society provides its own ilcfiiuriun, in specific terms, of incest, "Too 
close" means, also, ihat incest is always prohibited; there b no such thing 
as "permissive incest 1 ' among the ancient Hawaiians, Egyptians, Incas, 
or any other people. Incest is by definition a crime. 5 * 

The concept of Incest has meaning with reference 10 the human species 
only; the lower species, lacking die ability to symbol and to express 
thcm<dves with articulate speech can have no such concept, or behavior 
proper to this term. Among the lower animals, adults may. indeed, drive 
tktir offspring away either at the time uf weaning, as in the caw of cows, 
or later, when they begin to mature sexually* as among baboons, lliis 
might well have the effect of preventing or diminishing inbreeding, but 
IT cun hardly be maintained that this is the motive fur their action. Further¬ 
more, incest and inbreeding are nor synonymous by any means; there can 
be inbreeding without incest and incot without inbreeding. Finally* 
cet ts not iimpl v a union between relative^ but bee ween relative who 
arc too dost: to each other. And the lower amitiak* without language* 
have no means of clarifying relatives or distinguishing degrees nf relation¬ 
ship. Incest and prohibition is not a factor, therefore* in the social life 
of the low er animals. 

Bin in ciie human species the situation is different. Every people tm 
earth* so hr as our knowledge goes, has both a concept on of incest and 

** U ii remarkiUlr to fH?ic how many wriirn an Inrew af H peiffiiv-.Ei p f irtsrr« " 

Eren Noiti jnJ Queriti on Anthropology (eJiicJ for die British Assodiuce ffi# 
ihe AdTancancnr of JinerTce by a OmsnitTfc of Section H, fldi cLondon, 
which defintrs iftecsf ±t '%cntal imrrtontw between pmhtfod deertn of kindrerf." 
tm p. it), hii tm tbc very neat pge 4 boding Lntcuutiur Mafri^iaL 1 " 


customs or Jaw* to prohibit ant! punish it. IVhat is more* if is precisely 
among the most primitive peoples that the concept is m^r iharplv defined 
and violations most drastically punished, 31 This indicates dearly dot die 
concept, together with rules pertaining to it* U not u recent development 
in social evolution, but is very primitive and remote in origin The prob¬ 
lem for the social scientist ih: Why and how did the concept of incest 
originate in human society and what is the nature of the social niks per- 
mining to it? 

The problem of incest has occupied j-ncial scientist £ for a very long 
time, and the literature on the subject is vase indeed Since we hive dedr 
with this problem at some length in “Tire Definition mid Prohibition of 
Incest," 3 - we shall merely sum marine ihc thesis and argument here. 

The theories that have attempted to explain the origin of incest rjlmus 
can be grouped into four categories (i> instinctive, (z) physics! de¬ 
terioration* fj) psychological* and (4) socinctil rural thrones. 

The theory' that incest rahoos were instinctive was held by Hubhouse, 
although he had a rather elastic conception of instinct? 1 Lowk subscribed 
to this tbeoty at one time/' although he later abandoned it."* And Rose 
speaks of an -'instinctive dread of inbreeding" and “exogamous in- 
$rinct5. ,r m 

Little need be said about the instinct rheory, If the dread were instinc- 
rive, explicit rules would be unnecessary. Secondly K this theory L* incap¬ 
able of accounting for the great variation of specific taboos. 

Among anthropologies Morgan stands out as a proponent nf the theory 
that incest taboos were instituted in order to prevent biological deteriora¬ 
tion brought about by inbreeding- 11 This theory has been widely hefd 
by others* also. The theory is invalid because, fim of aft* inbreeding per 
sc does not cause physical or biologic*! deterioration. Secondly, very 
primitive people^ without an understanding of the biology of rcproduc- 
tion T could not liavc attributed deterioration tr> inbreeding if such had 
been it s consequence. And given an understanding of ptemicy* how 
could primitive peoples have established inbreeding as the cause of de¬ 
terioration without objective means of measurement and statistical teeb- 

*C 1 Rre Fortune, “lacwtr in EnffclopatA «/ f hr Sod *1 $ritattt ¥ ro 1 7, 191 
p. tSj9, 

“ jiirriL’jft /tl3f^f0^uJ^^rrr p \oL \rp. 4 c 6- 4 \ $, 19,; h. itprmcd iti 7 hi Scttrtt* of 
Culftff if, 19^9. 

"LT. HcbhottK, Mvrdf ht Evdfe*fcft p 3d nL i^ 1 ^ Ff 1 fa 4^- 
M H. L ewie* Svtmv, 1947, p, if. 

“ R, If. [ ou-ir. “The FaiTL^lv j* * Sochi Unit." ftipm, Aeadrw? af 

Sikmw/, Art? «mJ Ltitm, vd_ ni, p. 67. 

■Hoiwe A. Rra + "Mi-C in fnrU ritomit*, rtfh c«L iot. 11, 

b m 

*Lcwfe H. .Morgan, Attkm S&tftty, 1*77, *0. 3"** 4*4- 


niquss of correlation* Finally, the theory can nor explain why, for 
example, marriage wlh a parallel cousin is regarJed as incest ^ hercas 
marriage with a cross^oasin is permittee* or even required. 

The psychological Theories of FjtUtt,* 8 Purklicim/' W stffck T 
and others arc + one and all incapable of explaining the enormous range 
of variation among the incest taboos of the world. 

Uccuuse of flic failure of theories such m the foregoing to explain the 
origin of incest Taboos, many scholars virtually gave up in despair* foe- 
lieviniF tte ilie problem was insoluble. Freud concluded thar 11 we do not 
know rfic origin of incest dread and do nor -even know how to guess 
it* M * l And the *ntiin>potogtrt Wilder confessed tliat after yean of search 
for Jifl ivtpknqpon, l Svc are no nearer a solution tfian before. 

Ttie reason for the failure of biological tod psychological theories: to 
solve lire problem is fairly plain- the problem is not a biological or a psy¬ 
chological one H It is 4 cultttrologicil problem, and the solution must lie 
culturological; Le.* incest taboos are cultural phenomena and must be 
explained in terms of uiltcr culrurul phenomena When the problem b 
approached cu \rtirologiciUy it yields readily to solutJt>n + I he key to an 
undeistaitding of the origin of incest taboos was provided by E- B, Tybr 
many years ago: 34 

^Exogamy. enabling a growing tribe to keep iv>clS compact by con¬ 
stant unions bee ween ita spreading dans; enables it to overmatch any 
number of small mtemtarrying groups* isolated ami helpless. Again and 
again an the worlds history, savage tribes must have had plainly before 
their minds rhe simple practical aJicnuuvc between marrying out and 

being killed nut." (| 

The word “ctaT in this passage should l*c interpreted merely as ‘a 
group of kindred 8 * rather than as an exogamrHiv. ifldkccrsd kimhip group, 
since incest prohibition* and exogamy preceded clan organiairinn, as we 
now use the term* exogamy being a prerequisite to clan structure. 

Thus. Tylor made it dear chat ft ivas a racial, rather than a psycho* 

"Sigmund Freud, T&ttm md T*&vq t New Repddic, Joe, New YtarV. ■ PJ■- 

p fc. Diirkhtim, 'la Prohibitum i|e riuccac tt ks wipina," 1 UAftfti* 
tel. i, 180& 

'L/i Wnrrwd. The Hilary vf lttm*n ifjrruff p j vab., du p. to. 

*Fmid, op. p. nj. 

p Cl^rk Wissfkr. ^fn tmtodunimi to Ambr&peUr£j r Henry Holt and G.n»- 

psorf, Inc, New York, ji. 14j. 

*Jo hi) ugiuficant c&zy "Oi% a Method of Joiwigamig Lhe Dendepment nf uvn- 
muons, Applied to die Laws uf Marriage and Descoic," /rtjow^ flf AV/jjj 
potaftfcji farrfftrif* vol. ifi. p. 1*7+ s£S& 

Fifteen hundred yean tidier Sr. Aygiaunc bad * very clear conception of the 
jocidctilrunJ rutnre of rd« of exogamy^ see qiwfzbDiu from The City vj 
hook ij* in. the authorit af-orernenttuned essiv* **The Defipipon and IVtihibilion m 
In ecu," 


logical, process, th j£ brought iUj<iur the origin of invest taboo* and rules 
of exogamy: sodcry required individuals so hijut y outside their respec¬ 
tive families, or other groups of kindred, so that life could through the 
cooperation ihm effected, be made more secure for all, Pmhibitmm 
against incest and customs of exogamy were the products of socbcitltunl 
symtm rather than of iit-uro^em<iry*gkndular-elcclcra organism^ rite 
prolth'EE} was culturological rather tiun pwchohigiciL 
Since Tyfrir’v day, a number of anthmpahtg^iv* working from \ cul¬ 
turological point of view, have come in an understanding of incest taboo* 
and exogamy. Malinowski stresses the disruptive influence of endngsrmout 
Unions rather than the advantages of cooperation fostered by exogamy* 
Fortune, Sclignmn, Thomas, Gill in, Murdock, Firth, 51 and edicts, have 
likewise: grasped the sociagenesis and function of incest prohibitions. 
And Freud T despite his fancies about the killing of the primal father* has 
a very fair appreciation of the cultural figniilcence of incor and exogamy. 
"The incest prohibition, 1 * he observes in Tatcm am/ Tthda* "'had*,, a 
string practical foundation. Sexual need docs nnt unite men; it separates 
thetiL.., Thus there was nothing left for the brothers (after they had 
killed tlicir father J + If they wanted to live together, but to erect the incest 
prohibition/" * h Ant! in another work he writes: ,J Thc observance of this 
[incest| barrier is above all a demand of cultural society* which must 
guard against die absorption by the family of those interests which it 
needs for the production nf higher social units. Society, Therefore! uses 
all means to loosen those family ties in every individual. * > - ,s 1,1 luCt us 
return now to uur sketch of human social evolution. 

As we have seen, when man became a human bring hb newly acquired 
faculty of speech transformed his social life, which up to now had been 
determined by hmlogicel factors alone, into a form of social organisation 
in which CAirasomatiC cultural factors also were significant- Cooperation 
became a new means to an old end: security and survival Mutual aid 
was introduced into family organination, Individuals were organized into 
cooperating groups! along linen of consanguinity . Family group, or larger 

“ Rrn r^mme, “tnccsrp* irp Ertr ycl&p&rdu rtf rbf $&f fJi 5c/rtPOT» vnl. : h mil, pp. 

R. Z Stiigmifl, "IliOttl Jild DttCOTr Their lnJturnec oO Social Orpania^ 
tion;' /tfurnj/ flf the Roy*? jinthr&poh^l frwirvi*, i b oL ffy pp. =M-”=. 
William t ThE'frm. Ftimkfe r Babjvktf f 1937, p. ip?; John Gillin. "The Ehrima 
Rivet CariW P*pcrt ¥ Pr.uW* Mmewn, vd, m, m* 1+ p, m*r Genrgc P Mur¬ 
dock, SoekJ StTSKturt, chip. icn, 19*9: Raymond Firth. KY Tirtflpu, p. U4. 
■SagmwuJ Freud. Totm sttd Tiir&o t New RcpuhHq lor . New York, ipji* pp, 

M %numl FtttiiJ, "Three Gootrlhuiiora to the Tlicary of Seir 7 h Sjj^' TFofimgf 
of S^murni Freud, A. A. Brill fed.). The AMerti Libmry, Random House, fur, 
NW York, ipjfl, pp, 

9 ° 


eonsantruincal groups were buimd fn cich nthef by marnagt, ss £ con¬ 
sequence of incest prohibitions* thus extending and multiplying tics of 
mutuiil iid and obligation* Ac the same ante, these groups uf kindred, 
organized for mutual a id, were rendered more effective in ihcir activities 
of subsistence and defense by cl Emanating sexual rivalries among mem¬ 
bers of the group through the operation of incest taboos and rules of 
exogamy- Thus, by the definition and prohibition of incest, cooperation 
u-as" furthered on the one hand, and the possibilities of disruption and 
conflict lessened, on the other. In this way human society embarked 
upon a course of evolutionary development which it will be cmr task to 
trace in die pages that follow. 

Having noted the positive aspect of incest regulations, namely, their 
purpose and achievement* \ve now turn to the negative side and inquire 
what human society would have been like without these prohibitions* 
Granting a universal and powerful desire to effect sexual unions with 
dose associate*—an assumption which is supported by ethnologic and 
psychologic evidence—we discover that human social evolution could 
not have progressed very far without defuiitions and prohibitions of incest. 
As a matter of fact, it could have advanced hut little beyond the level 
of the anthropoids, for without a concepi of incest jnd compulsory 
exogamy, social organization would have been confined to the family 
line, with sexual attraction operating as a centripetal force to keep each 
family line intact and discrete. Jt was incest and exogamy that effected 
the next step in $oda! evolution: the union of each family hnc with other 
family lines. Once this siep was taken ir could be extended indefinitely 
and along other lints chan Itinfliip, as we shall sec later. Once the cooper¬ 
ative process had leaped the barrier of into familial sexual aimctinn and 
!iad h furthermore, rdegated sex to a subordinate position, there was no 
limit tu the extent to which it might extend and develop itself* Tlih situa¬ 
tion has its parallel in biological evolution. Had no way been found to 
unite unicellular organisms into multicellular systems, evolution would 
have been unable to advance beyond this punt. Once means were devised 
fur uniting single-celled organisms into larger, multiple-celled systems* 
the way was wide open tor almost unlimited and infinitely varied develop¬ 

Having shown that rules of exogamy were instituted to compel in¬ 
dividuals to marry outride the group of tiicir immediate relatives instead 
of within it. let us now see if wc can trace :he course of exogamy from 
its inception. 

We shall Iwgin with the family groups of man's immediate prehuman 
ancestors. These group, we recall, consisted of one adult male, his mate 
or mates, anil their immature offspring- According to psychological theory* 
each member of this group would be drawn to other members uf the op- 

Till: TBANsmON JLVIimOPOI» SXIttlT ftl HUMAN 3tX3ETY gj 

p5iie sex. Thus father ami daughter* mother md von, and brother and 
sister would bt attracted toward each other** 1 The rdatiomhip between 
mother and children was, no doubt, more mrinmte and intense than tlixt 
between father and offspring: in addition rci molding die youngs the 
mother fondled and protected them is monkey and ape mother- do today. 
We might assume, therefore, that the tendency nr mother and son in 
unite sexually iujiJJ be greater tlum the tendency of father and daughter. 
Bui there is another important factor tv he considered also, namely. male 
dominance. In the prehuman primate family, the dontinuiT male might 
appropriate Ids female offspring for sexual purposes. Hut he would tK.r 
permit his male offspring tn have sexual access in their mother- I it would 
also discourage or prohibit sexual relations between lib sons and his daugh¬ 
ters, Thus we may assume (hit lie fort rise aotfiropuid fttmiiv had reached 
rlic human level* a fonii of exogamy had already been established by the 
hmre force of the dominant male, Tlib must have been the situmion when 
man became a human being. Our task now is to see how formal rules of 
exogamy were instituted in human soda! life tmd bow the stupe of these 
rules whs extended. 

When man became possesses! of articulate speech he formulated ex¬ 
plicit ruffe for the regulation of his social life. Since sexual unions her ween 
mother and -ton had already been prohibited in the prehuman family* 
this practice was given formal sanction and definition in the first Incest 
prohibition to be formulated*** There are two reasons for assuming that 
sexual relations berween mother :md son were banned as incestuous be¬ 
fore relations between father and daughter, and between brothef and 
rister. were so defined and prohibited. In the first place, there was the 
dm m nance q( the husband^faLher who would not allow his male offspring 
to have access to cither their mother or their sitters because he wished 
to monopolize them Idmself. And in the second place, 3 union between 
son and mother would be less effective socially (economically) than a 
union between farlicr and daughter; or one between busier ami lister. 

Since exogenous njJfe were rnmmted in order to obtain the benefits 
ot cooperation brought alnjur by inrergroup marriage, those unions |>e- 

11 Not J^jwrjp they were Either' 1 and "daughter/ M innthrf" im\ H nm t ’ J but fc>c- 

tatm their were oppose m sea *itj in ktimne MKoejjdofl. Seiitnl inracrinii tend* 
tn v*iy tn ranch 1 wah the dotage—social ifiamuce—between inthYrijuak 
m Hie ungin of the Concept n! incest amt the urigin uf clitic* uu uiitrp je-jUEc. 
KCunUng to Freudian theory {ei. Frc^ti, Tmrrn and Takvo, |^i. i 49, jja), ilm 

^ffccfly sound til eh,, jhlifiu^h We cnstic in thi* Lnn^luisiMi front siimcnlui 
Jtffrrrnf pmnuc*—or jr feast by 1 differ m count of neiio-rung The first initancr 
m h umm hstory, of which we hnre evidence. of tfic ^litairdmaiion uf mdirridnjl 
desire to fenera] wcEfjuc is in die definitioo ef incot and (he buiigumtou of ruEci 

|f the tfrsi ^ionj act W4ft the observance of (fie prohibition of incest, was 

virtlsrion thereof rJie "urlgiiriiJ um’ r ? 


cuccn do* relatives which contributed least to the formation of an 
effective social organisation for food getting, protection, and defect* 
would Ik prohibited first. To put the matter m another way. ***£ 
would train more from the prohibition of a union between two do* 
relatives that was relatively ineffective in foot! getting and defense dun 
from the i)rotii]Jilinn of a onion between two do* relatives who could 
form a relatively effective unit for fuud getting and, tor 
example. « mother-son union would be less effective as ait organization 
for self-defense, food getting, and reproduction than a father-daughter 
union. In the one onion there would be an immature male and a female 
past her prime. In the other, there would be a irmnjre, experienced male 
and a female approadiing the prime of life- A union between brother and 
sister, both in or approaching the prime of life, would tic more effective 
as an urepiniiirion for nutrition, defense, and reproduction than either 
iiiotlier-Min or father-daughter unions. Thus we see that society would 
lose the least and gato the most by prohibiting marriage Iwtwecn mudier 
and son. Added to this consideration is the factor of male dominance, 
which would prohibit union between son and mother. We may conclude, 
therefore. [Ii.u this rdationsiiip would he the lirsr to tall under the hnn. 
Unions, between father and daughter would be prohibited next, before 
those between brother and sister, if the effectiveness of the unions as 
f<,od GcTting, wlf-defcnse, and reproduction units were the only things 
m he considered. But as we have recti, the dominance of the father over the 
son might outweigh the superiority of brother-sister marriages Mom the 
standpoint of soda! w elfare. These two forms of marriage might therefore 
have been prohibited as incestuous at about the same rime. 

Regardless of which of there two unions was prohibited first, we ; we 
discovered an important principle which has been operative tn the etten 
siori of exogamy: other factors be mg eoi Matty that union tx'bscb 
utes k’ast to the advantages derived front cooperation vnli be prohibited m 

intesutetu first. . _ 

If two Lndi^idunk arc already closely related by acs of mbcioI ^ 
guinity—such ss parent and child, or brother and sister—Unit, if nns. 
fiirrher social advantage could be derived from a marriage between them- 
Society could gain considerably, however, by compelling two vuch m- 
dividiials to marry others more distantly related rather ilun oriier. 
The alt cad v existing ties would not be severed by exogamy: brother an 
sister would still remain brother and ststcr even though each married 
someone else. And new tits, relations of mutual aid, obligation, and priv¬ 
ilege would be established by the brother and sister with other individuals 
and thdr reccedve groups.' It is clear, then, that society would gain but 
little by reinforcing an already existing social relationship between 

ni£ msssrnoN from anthropoid sdctett m human wcfltrt 0 } 

brother and sister with i marriage between them- Bui the group at large 
iroiiJd gain much by compelling the brother And sister n> csrablfeFi new 
and strong ties with other iniUvitfuirix with other family group*. The 
operation of the raogamous principle is mw clear The t e n d enc y is to 
unite individual family groups, to form an Qj^aruzatiOfi of individual 
families so thir through cooperation and mutual aid Hte welfare of all 
can be promoted- Unions between relatives will he ptmticttiU required, 
or prohibited in renns of their rdarinrvship to the welfare of society* os 
defined in terms of securtry and subsistence. Marrages between relative* 
will be declared incestuous in The same order in which their probibiiion 
would contribute the most to the general welfare. 

In accordance with this principle, marriage between full brother and 
aster would be pruhiluted before unions between half brother and 5i*ter H 
Since the social iriariuirdiip hetween children having the same mother 315 
and father™ is duscr and more intense dun between children who have 
flnlv one parent in comijiom Society would lose less and gain more by 
prohibiting full brother and sister marriage than by banning unions be¬ 
tween half brother and sister, Brother-sister marriage would therefore 
be proscribed before matings between hdf-jJblinys, 

Sinularly, marriage between parallel cousins would 1»t prohibited be¬ 
fore the ban feU upon the Cfnsshcotuun m uiuom^ The social relationship 
bcnceen parallel cousins is often much closer than between cross-cousins. 
With panilocal 11 residence. 1 would be id closer association with my 
father 5 brothel children than with my father * sister^ children; 1 might 
havt close contact with my mother's rister* fc diiJdren, but my mothers 
brothers children would already Km elsewhere- With matritocaJ res¬ 
idence, F would he in closer relationship to my mother s risers chili ren 
than to my mother’s brothers' children-—all my life, it a females if a sikilc a 
unril marriage. I might have cW contact with the duldreii of my father s 
brother (if he should marry into my mother's btmschuld or locality); but 
my mothers brothers' children would always live chew here. Conse¬ 
quently, unions between parallel coiirins w ould come to be regarded as 
incestuous, and therefore prohibited, befott marriage between cross- 
cuimns comes to be so regarded* 43 

* Defined iQcloIngicdlyv not biological]/, of emliw. , , 

- Uv parallel conni the Mldrm of my bth^ brother* in* of my motheM 
minx my ow-mitf are d« chUdnm oF my Ux\in'$ unn uf my mother i 

btmhtrfl. * r 

mw faaxc ■* ih c mwe of the ataom in onpic livn 

m iril dir fjjtiiJy or group of die Iwabrnb lo merited residue, they 1m wfrh ihc 
croup qf the wilt. , , „ . _ _ 

-Tlicm air peoples who nqaitc, or p ttitt. nmm^ pnlttl «***« 

ih an wirh crvissHjoi.'iinT, htit this Im* *m«hw npLuurinn. which will M pm ln«. 


Carrying the principle of exogamy further, marriage between first 
cousins would be prohibited before unions between second ccnmr* are 

Such h the social process of exogamy. If extends is scope by branding 
(Jnt one 3ml then another bind of marriage union incestuous. And ns we 
have noted, it *J ways proceeds outward from iis center, the family. It 
expresses a centrifugal force, so tti speak* in society. Rut there is also an. 
Opposite, or centripetal, force or process* This u eiulogamy: the custom 
or requirement uf marrying Wiltln a specified group. We shajJ treat 
endogamy and exogamy at ™c length in our next chapter- It remains 
now to pome out how the introduction of cooperation within the human 
family, and the establishment; of cooperative ties between families, have 
a fleeted the jnsritutioiu of marriage mid the family. 


Tlic institution oi marriage is a socially sanctioned relationship, usually 
but not jlwap between persons of the opposite sex, which, in the case of 
union between man and woman, permits and sane dons sexual intercourse 
and the begetting of children. Marriage is the humanization, the institu- 
rnijtalizatkui. the sociocultural expression of the rriarivdy durable union 
between the sexes in subhuman primate society. In the transformation of 
anthropoid society into human society mating became marriage. 

Among nortprimate rnammik sextud imereti urse has reproductive 
nificance primarily; the sex act b performed only during a breeding 
season or when the female U in bear. Among primates sex acquires a non- 
reproduciive function; sexual activity is carried on for it* own sake m 
well as for reproductive purposed Rut even in subhuman primate society 
sex may acquire a nonsctual function. According to Zuckcnnafi. a female 
baboon would endeavor to obtain food in die {nr^ession of her mate by 
cxdtiiig him sexually so that his attention would he diverted from die 
food.** Or she might try to avoid corporal punishment by her overbrd, 
or in avert his w rath, by the same means. Thus we note that among sub- 
human primates—and therefore* presumably, among man’* immediate 
prehuman anc&tor^wx had (i) reproductive, (i) sexual, and (j) nmv- 
sexual, socioeconomic functions, These Mime functions were carried 
over into human society with the advent of speech* 

A naive notion exists rn certain quarters that marriage was instituted 
m provide men and women with a means of seroal satisfaction. It is true 
that marriage, as a human institution, grew out of relatively permanent 
sexual unions among subhuman primates. Rut in human society the in¬ 
stitution of marriage is not founded upon sexual need and satisfaction. 

"S. ZnektTmiic TheSocM Life nf Monkey i end 1931, pp- 

nil- mronfis from Mrcrntpom society to human society 95 

Quire the contrary. In ni> moiety is jcxlijI activity limited to rhe marriage 
union, ti is true that virginity tests arc imposed upon brides, and measures 
are taken to ensure the fidelity of wives, in some ailturfek On the other 
hand, there ire cnlmrcs in which the greatest sexual freedom is allowed 
before marriage and tn which pregnancy may frequently precede mar¬ 
riage. Frost*turiois, which flourishes in many of the higher aricines, Is 
a way of irauturionailing sexual activity outside of marriage. As a matter 
0/ fact; marriage may tend seriously to circumscribe and to limit sexual 
icrjvirv in sonic societies: monogamy tdcrillv considered Is the next thing 
to celibacy. And die re are some forms of marriage in which scmiiI inter¬ 
course plays no part whatever* as we shah see later. 

The function of marriage in human sOdety is to establish a mutual-aid 
group to Carry on the processes of nutrition, protection, and defense. 
According to K. H. Lou ie; 44 

''Marriage, as we cannot too often or too vehemently kmtt w b only 
to a limiicd extent based on sexual conside radons. The primary motive, 
so fir as 1 lie individual mates are concerned* is precisely the founding 
of a self-sufficient economic aggregate. A Kai (New Guinea 1 does riot 
marry because of desires he can readily gratify mitacfc of wedlock wiih- 
our ETSauming any responsibilities; lie marries liecausc lie needs a woman 
r*t mate pots and to cook his mesh, to manufacture nets and weed his 
phniaijnrtx, in return for which he provides the household with game 
and fi.vh and builds the dwell mg / 1 
A similar view h expressed l>v r A, R. RadchlTe-Rrnwu: r ' 

'The important function of the family Ls that it provide for tht feed¬ 
ing and bringing up of the children. It h based on the cnaptttritm of mail 
and wife, rhe former providing ghc flesh food and the latter the vegetable 
food, so that quite apart from the question 0/ children . *. this economic 
aspect of the family h 1 most important one*.,. 1 believe that in the minds 
of the natives themselves this aspect of marriage, Lc., its relation to sub¬ 
sistence. is of greatly more importance than die fact that man and wife 
ore sexual partners, 1 " 

Tht economic basis and functions 0/ the family are universal in human 
society^ they art: a> conspicuous upon high levels of cultural dcvefopineni 
os upon the lower levels. In colonial limes in America, says Oghum: ** 
"...The family was a very importajir economic organi/^ititm. Not in- 

u Frimuh'f Svrirty, rev. cd^ Uver^hi I’uliUshing Iliack anJ Quid 

Libmy, New York, 19*7, pp. 6$-^ 

“^Ths Social Oigaukaiiwi td AuraUjn ToTusT Orennii. vdk 1. p, 43J* Jamory- 
AJairft* igj t . 

■William F. Oghara, disced bv CUrk Tibbtfts* "Th* FimPy and Its 
in Sarid Trevdt m tbt Unittd $t*ic$ report of the Pn^mt 7 * fttwarch 

Canuimn on Social Trend1 1 , McGn^ lM Book Company, lae, New York, 19IJ. 
PJ* 661 tei- 

0 PHMITTV6 CuLTL r p£ 

frequency it produced! substantially all that it consumed. with rite excep¬ 
tion of inch things as me cal tods, urenrib, mIe imd certain luxuries. The 
home was, in short, n factor)'. Gviiizjrirni was Imed on a domestic Jjrctcrn 
of production nf which the family ivas the center. 

"The economic power of the family produced certain corresponding 
social conditions, In murrjnny, a nun sought not only fl mat t and com¬ 
panion hue a business partner- E^uiiband md wife each hid specialized 
sk Uk and contributed definite sendees to the partnership* Children were 
regarded* as the Jaws of the time showed, nor only qs objects of a deed on 
bur as productive agents. The age of marriage, the binb rare and the 
altitude toward divorce were all affected by rhe fact that the home was an 
economic insrittiriora. Divorce or separation nor only broke a persona] 
relationship hut a business one as wdi." 

The economic character of marriage ts revealed in such legal and ju¬ 
dicial procedures as suits for breath of promise, alienation of affection, 
separation and maintenance, and alimony. With regard to breach of 
promise. Ruling Case I-aiv discusses marriage as follows : 4t |4 The law 
generally takes the rather worldly view that marriage is a "valuable" con¬ 
sideration; □ thing nut otalv possessing vjluc, but one the value of which 
may he estimated in money, and therefore, in a seme, marriage engage¬ 
ments art regarded as business transactions, entered into with a view, in 
part, ae least, to pecuniary -idvantage," Saits for alienation of affections 
involve "the Jens of consortium": "This is a property right growing due 
of die marriage relation," according to the Supreme Court of Qmtwct- 
icur.** Eleven out of twelve items: in a "Personal M advertisement column 
selected lie random in a newspaper nf i Luge, city cjc pressed a refii jl to 
accept responjubility for debt* contracted by the w ife. Marriage Im a 
definite occupational aspcci in some cultures; if may serve as an site mid ve 
m working fur Wages i> % means of support; in the United States in recent 
decades marriage offers mmy young ivmueru especially in the middle, 
or Upper-middle, das* j greater economic return than could Lie obtained 
by unskilled Ia 1 *>t\ And “homemaker,” i.c., a housewife, ha* come to he 
recfSgnL/.ed—on radio and television programs, at least—as on occajutiiHl 
in the contemporary 1 linked States. 

The reasons for the economic, rather thsn sexual, or erode, basis of rhe 
family in human society are fairly plain; (r) the family is the fundamental 
and nnirejT>jJ unit in human society in which the essential process of 
nutritifiJi and other human need-serving acuities arc carried on; these 
processes are primarily economic in character' (a.) sexual attraction, or 
love* cannor provide marriage and the family w ith a secure tmd enduring 

W illiam MtKcnficy §nd Burdcuc A- Rich iciH. ), Ruling Cm * L*t% vol +. 
Rndtester, NY., 1&4* p- t 4 J 

* C«*» Argue J j*d Dnrrmfmd hi rht Supreme Court of Errotf of ikr Sent of 
CafmectUWi vol u? t May. i^jj, to Jamur y t (954* Hact/unl, ft™*, *914, jfc 


foundation. It is (os) uncertain, cpEicmerah fickle, unpredictable and 
therefore undependable. Love may be strong today, Lmie gone tomorrow. 
F.conojnic needs u c have with ns riways. 

It is interesting to note that Freud has imidi the same view of the h mu in 
family and society, of sex and economics, due we Hold “The motivating 
force of human society is fundamentally economic, 1 'he says—m «1 m 
servariftn, by the way, that is hardly in accord with a notion widely held 
that Freud "explains everything in ttmu of sex/' He postulates a conflict 
of hueresT and goal between *cx and subsistence and asserts that the de¬ 
velopment of culture requires that sex be curbed, contained, and limited 
£o that human energies can he used fur culture building, "Jr is buposrihlc 
to ignore the extent to which civilisation is built tip on renunciation of 
instinctual gratification*.*. |human] energies [must be) diverted from 
sexual activity cp labor/ 1 M 

That Freud, starting from quite different prentincs, and folloosing 
different courses of reasoning should ncvcrrhclcs* come to the some Con¬ 
clusions as uurseh es seems tignifitranr—and encouraging. 

Marriage: an dS&nec between groups* The rr?k of marriage a* a means 
of esxabfelting ties of mutual aid, as distinguished from the satisfaction 
of sexual desire, is further indicated by the hex that everywhere in human 
society marriage is an alliance between groups. In some cultures marriages 
are initiated and carried through w holly by groups of kindred rather 
than by the individuals who will be thus united. In some societies young 
men and women have virtually no voice in their marriage arrangements; 
they may nor even sec each other before the wedding. A girt may be 
betrothed in childhood, or even Infancy, in some cultures. Marriage ar¬ 
range merits are sometimes made tictwecn two families even before rise 
bride-to-be is born; C4j- f in aboriginal Australia, one family may have 
a son, another a daughter. They form a marriage per. Bur else boy will 
not marry the girj T but her daughter, after die girl lias grown up, married, 
and borne a female dull). We do not say that no one in primitive society 
has a voice in the selection of hi$ or her spouse, in some cultures one dots, 
but it is always a matter of degree. Even where marriage arrangements 
ore made by the parents of tIic prospective bride and groom, the latter 
ntaiy he consulted regarding ihcir wishes and choice. 

Bride prirr Jiid dov'T)' T Since a family i\ to a great extern, an organ¬ 
ization for coming on economic activities:., marriage may become an 

* Sigmund Freud, A Genera httroduttii/n to Liverish r dishing 

Krw Vwk* «£!**, f*. 

ta Sigmsij]j Frtud. Cna^uidit joJ ht Dittonterm, Jonathan Gipr h Lrd^ lamclno* 
f m p. rtj; iec also pp. 71-74 an d A General Irnroductum to Ptycbvjnjtym, 19:0, 


economic transaction* In miny cultures gifts are exchanged betw een Else 
families of bride and groom at marriage, This tnty lye no mure than a 
social ritual- Bur in some hr.mces, rhe family of the bride or the groom 
\vitl give a quantity of gwd$ to rite family of the other spouse, 7 lie in tonne 
of wealth may be very considerable! and thus be important from an eco¬ 
nomic standpoint. “Since a girl in ruder societies represents economic 
value/ 53vs Lowie, “her family surrenders her only for m equivalent/ EI 
Tiie institution of bride price is rather widespread in primitive society* 
The terms '*prtce ,f and “purchase" do not mean that the wife thus ob¬ 
tained becomes a duEtel or suffers an inferior status as a consequence 
of "'purchase/ The property given to the bride's family, or larger group 
af relatives, k a means of cementing the marriage union, of making it 
more binding and durable. Since, in some societies, the w ife's relatives 
would be obliged to return the bride price, or it:, equivalent, in the 
event of divorce or separation, the wife's relatives might do everything 
they could to keep the marriage from breaking up. 

The dowry is the counterpart of bride price. It is relatively rare or 
mtignifiesm among prdiicrafe peoples, bur ha? been common among 
rhe upper, Lcl, propertied, classes in ancient Greece and Rome and in 
western European culture in more modern times. The custom of dowry 
has a number of aspects; it tends to encourage marriage—a large dowry 
makes a girl more desirable is a rnatcj it may encourage marriage, or 
make it possible, by providing the means of establishing a household or 
of setting up the husband in business; a * it help* to protect rhe wife 
against abuse or matereafiuciir from her frusbnmf and to enhance her 
status; it rends io perpetuate the marriage, since the dowry had to be 
returned in the ease of divorce; and it w as a means of providing widows 
with some economic security, 

fertile and sot orate. Some marriage rituals in our society' today re¬ 
quire the contracting parties to pledge themselves to perpetuate the 
union ""until death do us parr.* 1 Bur in many prditerait cultures even 
death is nor permitted to terminate the aHimice formed between families 
or groups of kindred by marriage. If the husband dies, his brother is 
obligated to marry the widow. This is the 1 evirate ** (L. temr, husband's 

m R. R Louie. "Marriage." m Emydopadl* of the Secirf Stkntt*. veil io, Hie 
Macmillan t-uinjiany* lyjj, p, 14K. 

41 Benjamin Franklin n\h m in hi* Aurobiagrjph? ihai He proposed marriage rfl * 
firl uid her ptrtn tt, bur on eanJitUm that aid jwtflH |sbt up enough miwey ™ 
pay elf riic debt on fonklui'i printing ^bop. The pircnn replied thii they c^Od 
nnr pur up rime much money, whereupon Frank tin toggttred rim they ^moru^Jgc 
tbdr home m the loHMrifin" The parents declined m do fhii F Hying shat they 
did nm approve d*c uutth; ^..Therefore l w$* forbid den die house, and the 
daughter stint up,,* ttys Franklin. 

- We find 3 good eumpk of the fevirate in ihe Bible* including an account of the 

the nuNsmw fhom amthropuid sorarrv to human society 99 

brother). If the wife dies, her family, or turnip of kindred, in rat; if it 
an, supply 3 woman to rake her place (the soioratcb The soiwate it 
frequently associated with the custom of bride pried; If the husband's 
kindred have “bought 4 * a wife lor him and she dies, her family or 
kindred are obligated to re place lier. TEie insri tut ions of levirare and 
sorumtd .ire very widespread in primitive society, ami in many instances 
a tribe will observe both customs. The Jevinfc and sornroce give signifi* 
cant support to the theories advanced here: j j) marriage he, or may be, 
primarily an alliance bet u cm groups of kindred, and £: ) so important 
is this mutual-aid compact in the conduct of life that society canouc afford 
to allow it to lie terminated even by death. Certain religious groups, 
notably the Roman Carbolic Church in onr own culture* srrive to preserve 
the tics established by marriage by refusing to sanction divorce. 

Enduring sexual unions among subhuman primates have become TOdo- 
culruraj medianimis in hunum sr^lerv*. Sometimes they have legal signsri- 
cance almost exclusively. e.g., is a means of acquiring liilc or claim 10 
property* or its -j vehicle of inheritance. Cases of adventuresses marrying 
Indians who had suddenly become rich through the discovery of oil 
eume to mind here. In the cultures of the Northwest Ccmt of America 
where titles and rank play such an important fate in social life, a man 
may marry another man's leg or arm as a mean* of acquiring a rifle which 
he mar pass on to his son, 04 In west Africa a woman may marry 
another woman or women, i.c., perform the same ritual—including pay¬ 
ment of bride price—that would take place in marriage lictwcen a man 
and a woman; she becomes the father of children Imm to this union/ 1 
tn India a person may marry a tree or even .in inanimate objects Mar¬ 
riage may serve as a mean* of political integration within 3 nation. The 
king of IJujfanda, for example* niarric* a woman from each dan or ter* 
rirory in his domain as 2 means of establishing dose ties with his sub¬ 
jects. And finally* marriage may serve as a means of mrenurional al¬ 
liance. In ancle m Egypt; Amcnophis 111 asked the King of Mstanm for 
a bride for Ids $on* In modern Europe marriages between royal house¬ 
holds of different countries have been frequent. Louis XIFF o i France 
married Anne of Austria, who in turn was the daughter of Philip Ill, 
King of SpajfL One of the provisions of the Treaty of the Pyrenees 
(1659), which concluded 1 w*f between Spain and France, was that 
Maria Theresa, daughter of the Spanish Hapsburg Ling, Philip IV, should 

pnaJshmnir of a nun refused to marry hh bnurher'* widow (Drat ifif-nL 
Getici» coti, tcIEi of haw Gnun ™rricd hi* towhtf’l widow but mok 

to prsFcnr pregnancy, whrnrujwin ilie UrJ Villc J him m anger, 

“Frani hoas, “The Social and Secret Socicrict of the Kwtktud Ic- 

^anv' United Stairs XtiufAii Motetsm Mrperrt t p. jto 

"M. J. 1 ImkovitSs “A Xnte on Woman Marnagc 1 in Dahomey,'' Afrkz, toI. to, 

(p » m* 


marry the French Bourbmi king, Louis XIV. Napofeon i married Mora 
Lout^ daughter of the Austrian emperor, Francis It The way in which 
Imman culture tmk over the relatively permanent set nil union among 
anthropoids, transformed it into a socioculrural mechanism, and has used 
it for soda! and political purposes for a million years, from Lilt primordial 
human family to alliances among nations in the nineteenth century, k 
truly remarkable. 

The rnm&itkrn from anthropoid society in human social organization 
was made possible by the emergence of the faculty of symhaling ex¬ 
pressed in articulate speech. Language opened the door to ecopmtkm 
tz> a virtually tmUmited extent. Goupcrnrinti made life mote secure. O.mse- 
quentlyi social evolution moved in the direction of more extensive co- 
uperatiolL The family became a mutual-aid group. Thr formation of 
larger cooperative groups by ihc inrermimage of families wais bmught 
about by the definition of incesi and the institution of taws of rxoganjy. 
Kinship became a sociological rather than a biological affair. Marriage 
and the family acquired a pronounced eetmrimk character. As human 
society evolved, the sexual factor diminished in significance as the eeo- 
noituc factor grew in importance. The union between tile sexes became a 
legal device in acquiring or transferring property rights or rides. And in 
marriage ihe simple union between the sexc^i eventually became m instra- 
mcnr of international intercourse and alliance. 


The subject 0/ exogamy ha.s enjoyed a prominent place in chc history of 
ethnological theory. We have Itad books and articles almost without 
end dealing with "the problem of exogam V-" Whit regard to endogamy, 
however, the situation is different; interest in endogamy appears to he 
slight, and die liccramre tTittgtr And we find little discussion of the 
relationship between exogamy and endogamy. Many authors never cake 
note of any relationship at .ill between them—except, perhaps, to state 
that in the one case you marry out, in the other you marry in. Still 
fewer apptedarc the fact tisat exogamy anti ertdagttiiv arc inseparable; 
that they always go together. Injure, for cample, observes that 
“exogamy and endogamy are not mutually exclusive except with regard 
10 the same unit." 1 Thh mean* that a clan* or any other kind of social 
unit, cannot be both exogamous and endogenous ar the same time, 
which is self-evident, but that a people may have an exogammis ruie 
with reference to one kind of unit and an ftutogmnotts rule for another 
type of unit. For example, .1 caste might Ik enciogiunous hut at the same 
rime Ik composed of cxogamtms dans, Another anthropologist* Camilla 
H, Wedgwood* remarks thae "exogamy and endogamy are by no means 
mutually exclusive... [they J are often found together ** * 2 AH this \\ 
of course* true, IJur to say that endogamy and exogamy are not mutually 
exclusive, that they are "often found together," is confusing and mis- 
leading, [c implies thflt if b tribe has exogamy, it Is not likely to have 
endogamy also, although it atuld have both. Tills view is unwarranted * 
rmy society has both exogenous and endogenous characteristics. 
Exogamy" anil endogamy arc complementary aspects of the some social 
phenomenon; they are, like tlic poles of 1 magnet* opposite but inseparable. 

Some authors speak as if endogamy and exugamv were traits w hicli a 
people or culture migliE or might nut possess. Thus Lnwic luis remarked 

1 It. H bnvn, Printititv $&£fotj % rcr. eff* Lberighi Publiilung GotfuiaoVn* New 

Vntk, * w+ p k l? , 

’QmilU H, WfdgwtKul, ^Ertdngjmv." in EntjzfopMttM 14th fld* 

voh 0, p, 



that "the Andean region hicks both exogamy .. ,ctc -" t4 Brcntla Z. Sctig- 
man speaks of “'cultures.. . where ihcre b no trace of the custom 
[exogamy].' 1 * And Wedgwood declares that ^araong primitive peoples it 
[endogamy] is rare.” A VVhac Lewie and Sdigmarr mean T prohably\ is that 
certain exogenous. social units or, more specifically, clans, are lacking in 
the Andean region—although Lmvie has defined exogamy as "the rule 
which prescribes that an individual must find a mate outside of his own 
group, whether that group l>e the family, the village, or rome other social 
unit - * -{italics supplied]”® tn any event, his phraseology, like that of 
Wedgwood* is misleading. Both authors obscure the fact that both en* 
Jugmny and exogamy arc found everywhere in human society. It is floe 
defirufr and discrete social units dot define exogamy and endogamy and 
reveal ihcir nature. EiOgSmty nod endogamy arc social processes. 

In vk'Vr of the repudiation of an jiitu jc .c in social origins, which uc 
noted earlier ip + ?o), ive should not expect to find much light thrown 
upon the genesis of customs nf exogamy and endogamy in human so¬ 
ciety by contemporary anthropologists And in tins esrpcctatitm we are 
fully justified; they have virtually nothing to say Otl the subject. These 
customs esrbt and function; hut bow they arose a ns! developed is today, 
i$ it waj to Fraxer in 1910, % problem nearly m dark a* ever” 7 This b 
perhaps understandable in view of the false leetd given to the problem by 
McLennan many years ago in Primitive Mjrriagit. But we know much 
more about primitive society today than McLennan and his contem¬ 
poraries did. We may therefore take up once again the question of die 
origin of exogamy and endogamy in human society* 

The ptfKrcsses uf in-mating and nut-mating can be observed as j s nat¬ 
ter of fact, in the sodbl life of man f s anthropoid ancestors, Thus there 
was sexual attraction, made powerful by the intimacy uf social contact, 
between father and daughters, between mother and sons, and between 
brothers and sisters, ]f there were no Other factors to be reckoned with, 
these classes of relatives would be mere likely to mate with each other, re¬ 
spectively* than with more remote—remote in a social as w ell as a biological 
sense—relatives. Tills is an tndogamom tendency. Rut there was an oppos¬ 
ing tendency' also in anthropoid society. Because of the dominance and 
sexual jealousy of die father, the young maturing males w ere not permitted 

1 R. H. l-owic,, H Amrticui fiitmrc HLuory" Am mew Amhropob&it n vol, +1. [ L 
4 i*» *&? 

* Bremk ?_ Sc] Leman. ‘The Problem of kcaft tod Eiogiiniyi A Resuttmem, 
jfmrrirm AnrhTQpQtogm, yo 3 , 5;* p. $14, 1950, 

* Wcdgwn,- J4 J p pp, cv. 

f R_ II. Lowit* Primitive Society, 1^47, p, aA- 

T J. G. Frttcr, Totatritrn and Exsga wtj. voj, i d .ITjemitbn k Co_ Ud 4 Ixwid™- 


to mate with their mother nr their sister*-. They were driven our of thrir 
family group aiitf had to seek marcs elsewhere, This was an exogimioas 

When primate society acquired the human form* the processes of in- 
marrying and out-marrying were not dropped or discarded. On the con¬ 
trary, they Mere carried over and made a vita! and Integra] part of the 
new social order, Em they were organized on a somewhat different basis 
and given a different function, as we shall see. 

We have already noted how the newly formed sndoculniraj systems 
undertook to organize individuals and family groups on a cooperative 
basis for the business of living—food getting, shelter, protection, and tie- 
fettse—in order to make life more secure. This process of soda! develop¬ 
ment took the family as its starting point and proceeded outward from 
there, incorporating first dose, then more distant, relative* into the co- 
aperaung organization Definition and prohibition nf incest made mar¬ 
riages between families compulsory. In rhis way, a body nf relyrives, 
consanguinc and affinal. were organized into a cooperative group, a 
mutual^aid society so ra speak, in order to make life more secure for its 

This cooperative group was effective* Its effectiveness was not a single 
dementi however* bin a compound. It was made up of two dement? nr 
factorsi size and solidarity, fly rim at mean the number of persons in the 
group; ,i group of thirty Is twice the size of a group of fifteen. By 
icli&irii} we menu the strength and intensity of the tics the social rda- 
riems, between the individuals who compose the group. Person* may 
he united to each other by weak, tenuous, and ephemeral ties; or the 
bonds may be intimate, strong, and enduring. And of course there may 
Iki innumerable gradation* between these extremes. 

The effectiveness of a group, in the struggle for existence and survival, 
depends both upon its size and upon Its solidarity. These factors are 
variable and smnd in an inverse ratio to each other Other factors being 
constant, die degree of solidarity varies inversely with rhe size: the 
larger the group the less the solidarity; an intensification of solidarity 
Would mean a diminution of size. The relationship between size and 
solidarity with reference to the effectiveness of the cooperating group 
can be cxpreMd with precision in the following simple formula: 

£ = where E stands for the cffectivcncsi of the cooperating 

group; Ss, for size; and So, for solidarity, If the degree of solidarity re¬ 
mains unchanged, an Increase in size of the cooperating group would 
make it more effective in the struggle for existence. If H however, the 
group lost through diminution of solidarity as much as it gained from 
increase in size, the net result would be zero; it could even lose if it suf¬ 
fered more from a weakening of solidarity than it gained by increase 


in size. Tilt desirable goal of %ochl evolution, from tiac standpoint of 
fU0C£$£ in the competitive struggle for cxlsrenee, it therefore increase in 
she without loss of solidarity, Bus sit vet the factor of solidarity ma y vary 
atm. ue may formulate rive following generalization; <wry society tends 
to behave m stick a way jf fo achieve that bat,wee between she and 
solidarity that wilt give it the maxhmtnt effectiveness in carrying on its 
tife-justohsmg activities. 

Ijct iih return mm to the earliest stage of human soda! evolution and, 
having already seen how the process of exogamy operated, let u$ oh- 
serve the manner in which the opposite process, that of endogamy, ev 
presses itself. We stall begin, as hefore t with the primordial human fam¬ 
ily in its most simple form: an adult male. Ins marc, and their offspring. 
After rules of csogsmy had prohibited marriage between parents and 
children and between brother jfuI sister, the youngsters v. ere of course 
required, when they matured* to seek mates outside of their immediate 
family group. But whom should they marry? Would any individual of 
the proper set and of suitable age, temperament, and beauty do? By 
no means; there is more to marriage ttan individual taste and preference. 
As noted in the previous chapter, marriage is a socioeconomic alliance 
between groups of kindred as well as a sexual union between individuals 
It k natural, therefore, that each Family, or group of kindred, should 
rake a hand in. the formation of an alliance tliat is to be so vital to their 
security and survival Iti the earliest stages of social evolution* we may 
reasonably assume that the role of the individual decreased, the role of 
group of Id tidied increased, in importance in contracting a marriage* 
Marriage within the family, a union of brothers with sister, for exam¬ 
ple. would give a high degree of solidarity: the strength of the marriage 
tie would be added to rlur of brother and sister. Rut the cooperative 
group thus formed, confined within a tingle family line, would be small, 
and hence relatively weak. The conception of incest and rule* of exogamy 
tabooed marriage within a family and compiled brothers and sisters to 
many into another family line, arid in this way to form a cooperative 
group composed of at least two family lines. Exogmiy operates to enlarge 
the size of cooperative groups of relatives. 

Bur solidarity must be considered, also* if advantage b to accrue from 
increase in size. The coefficient of solidarity of two families, or group* 
of kindred, united by marriage may vary . Under optimum circumstances 
it will attain a maxi mum, which we may designate 100, Under less fa¬ 
vorable circumstances it will be lower. It may go m zero or even t>dnw 
this point: the relationship might become one of hostility* and strife 
rather than of friendship and mutual aid. Obviously, it is to the ad* 
vantage of rhe families forming tlic alliance to have is high a degree of 


friendliness and soJsduiry a% possible. Therefore mterfamtly marriage 
alliances will tend to mmt those family groups wh me union will bring 
about a maximum, or rather an optimum* degree of solidarity in relation 
to other cotwit dons and dimramneek 
Taking any family as a starting point* it will he observed that all tnher 
family groups stand In varying degrees of relationship in it Some are 
dijse gened ugically tmd spatially, others ore remote in one or bnrh of 
£he*£ respect. To unite wo families remotely related would establish 
little, if any* vulidarityj in fact, enmity rather than cooperation outfit re¬ 
sult. Orh^r fjri&rt being c&R$t3Rt f the degree of solidarity Achieved by 
the wtion of fimtMes by m.image is directly proportional so the close¬ 
ness of the social relationship before marriage. 

We arc now in a position to observe the simultaneous operation of the 
processes of cwgamy and endogamy. The uiiit which in protohuman 
society is carrying on ihe struggle for existence h the family. It k a small 
gmup and correspondingly weak. The inaugnraiicm of rules of ex ogam v 
compels marriage outside the family’, thus uniting families into larger 
coopered ng groups, making life mure secure. Bur “marriage with mother 
family M is not all there is to ir_ As we have ?ten p not dl families ire equ i 
in the Mod or degree of relationship which they hear to any given family. 
Some ore related in one way, some in another^ the relationship may be 
close in one case* remote in another. The selection of the family to lie- 
comc allied to yours rhrough ntarrkgc is therefore an important matter. 
Tf your family forms a marriage alliance with a family having onlj a 
weak and tenuous rcfotinfvihip to your own, or none at sll, a larger 
group will he formed, but it will have no little solidarity a* to make the 
alliance of little or no vriue fu either fondly in the struggle for existence. 

It may even have .1 negative value if the marriage should instigate a 
feud rather than cooperation. It would he desirable* therefore, for your 
family to ally itsdf ihmtsgh marriage to a family which already stand 1 , 
dose enough to your* in social idarionship to guarantee j high degree 
of solidarity and mutual aid.* 

^UM a.ii Sf- AujjUJtiflt had a hdUfld insight intn flic naiuic af cicigjiiii’, which wc 
nwed in iit tjrlicr chapter, so did he lj*vc mure ih\m * mpemeial midem-arutlng of 
™dogtoiv* This k mnusJ, of couhr. inyorti who neatly nude; nanib fJw: <me itmw 

Ulldcr^Firtii the other, for they bet centrifugal imj CrntriprtoJ 4fpcc& of the 

MJC phenomenon, After disciuring the imtom for ctogamy* Augustine proceinU tn 

trtH of endogamy as fnltn^T' 

"tout iht arcdmi failim, fearing ilu? rtcaf ttbriomliipt might gaittlflf in ihr 
eotirrf of generations divert *jih] become distant fcUtitFtttliJpj* or crae tu Inc rt- 
bTinnthJp at all, itl^snusly endeavored to limit it hy the bond of marriage hefon; 
it boenne d brant, and rim*. n it were, to call it hack when for wm escaping them. 
Aod on ihip account, evtTi when itie world vts full of people [ inbtxtdifi^ wu 


Thu* uc m how and why the processes of exogamy and endogamy 
operate. The rules of exogamy say, m effect- "‘Do nor marry dose in; 
many out so as ro increase the size of the cooperating group thus 
formed." The rules of endogamy say; "Do nor many' too far out, for by 
doing so the effectiveness of your alliance will suffer through weakened 
solidarity- Marry dose in m as to achieve a high degree of solidarity/’ In 
short, rht aide of exogamy and endogamy say, "Many out but nm too 
far; marry in t hut flue roo close " Hie processes of exogamy and en¬ 
dogamy are simply wavs of securing maximum effectiveness of group 
effort in the snuggle for existence by achieving a balance between size 
and solidarity that will produce chi> maximum. 

Appreciation of exogamy and endogamy a* correlative social processes, 
and undersea fading of their function^ objectives, and consequence have 
nut been too plentiful in theccrara of ethnology 1 * history and develop- 
mem, Herbert Spencer thought of exogamy and endogamy as "correla¬ 
tive results of rhe botic differentiating process,’** but limited as he was 
by McLennan^ theories, he was not able to grasp the actual working 
of these processes in societies, Tylor, roo, hdd to McLennan 1 * thesis 
that some tribes were cmgamous, others autogamous, He seems, there- 
fore, to contrast these two principles without realizing that rhey ate 
both complementary and universal . 111 

Among anthropologists of the present day we have noted but one 
instance—we may have overlooked others — of what may be appreciation 
of the complementary nature «f exogamy and endogamy—although 
these terms ire not used in this instance and we arc not sure that vie 
know what the author means by ^atpansion’" and “contraction 1 ’ of "social 
solidarity/’ RadeEffe-Brown generalizes a* fuUmvjt; 11 

M !n any society there are normally present a certain number of fac¬ 
tors tending towards an expansion uf social solidarity [i.e.* an increase 
in size of social group? |, and other factors tending fn the opposite direc¬ 
tion towards 2 contraction J intensification Fj of social solidarity. These 
two set* of opposing fact on may be in a state of equilibrium, nr they 
may not / 1 

nactsfiiry when [here were only j lew peopLe. tint cIuLlIioji ni Adam, etr.i, ihongh 
ilwry did n*i 1 r ehooie ivjvrf frnm among rheir or lulf-tLsrcri, yet + t(cy pre- 

fcTtci! them TO in rEie uitic Siotls av tlie-srrf \vc-% .Mjreu* Dnd* id iru) i ruB-I■ 
The City af Gad, vol. t, btmk ij, Hifncr Pti Wishing Company. New Yu*k* 
p. 8a 

'Herbert Spencer, PrittripUi vf Saciafo^y, rqL 1, pt. j, chap 4 + "Earagamy md 
FnAagutiff iU|. p. &$7- 

H L B. Tyler, “On a Method of Invertigimkg tEic DeiclopmKit of TiuriturionsT 
Journal af fki AmbtDpQtotfrsS immure f yqI it, pp> i8t& 

“A, R. RiddiElc-Brown, “The Sockt Qrg-tEiizjxtan of AuurraJian Tribra/ Qettate* 
vol. t. no. 4, p- 44 j, 19JI- 


We may now undertake to sketch the probable course of develop 
nit tit of human society in ics earliest stages from the standpoint of 

!n the earliest period of human history there was. as we Itavc seen, 
a tendency for parent to mate with child, brother to mate with sister. 
When these unions had been prohibited we may assume that union be¬ 
tween half brother and half sister was preferred* kinec these individuals 
were already related throng Fi the possession of uric parent in common^ 
and consequently a high degree of social solidarity was brought about 
by marriages of this son. In rime* such unions became incompatible with 
marinium effee riven css of the cooperating group, and the laws of exogamy 
were extended to include marriage between half-siblings. The endngamous 
tendency, ever striving to foster solidarity, would then place marriage 
between parallel cousins at the top of the list of preferred unions l«- 
cause, among the kinds nf unions possible* this would pm vide the fsig li¬ 
cit degree of solidarity. Marriage between parallel cousin* would, in 
many if not most instances, achieve a higher degree of solidarity Hum 
marriage between cro.^coimus because, with imirilocal or paid J o ad 
residence, which is very common in primitive society, the social relation¬ 
ship between parol Id cousins prior 10 tttaaiage is ch^er arid rrronger 
than is the relationship between cross-cousins, 

In time, as technological progress advanced culture as a whole, mar¬ 
riage between parallel cmirim; would become incompatible with the 
maximum «:i*c and effectiveness of the mutual-aid organization formed 
by marriage, and consequently the rules of exogamy would be extended 
to prohibir marriage between parallel cousins. Marriage between cross- 
cousins would now become the preferred type, sinctr union between 
these relatives would foster rhe highest degree of solidarity comparifote 
with the maximum size and effectiveness of the cooperative group. 

Wc sec, then, how the processes of exogamy and endogamy work. 
As enlargement of cooperating group becomes possible in the course 
of social evolution, tiit processes of exogamy and endogamy work hand 
In hand, the one to increase size of group by extending the radius of 
the group of persons within which one may marry, rhe other, endogamy* 
operates trs f osier kohdjrrtv by preventing rids radius from becoming too 
great. In rhe instance just comidcred T the rule of exogamy sayk tlut uue 
must many at the genealogical and social distance of first cross-cousin ai 
least: the rule of endogamy savs tbit one cannot marry at a greater 
distance, ' ' 

Up m this point our sketch h inferential. Inference k, however, a legiti¬ 
mate and an twntbl process in ril science* The question is not, * H It our 
account trsfern?ntiiilr 11 — or "conjectural history?" as mme would express ir 


—for inference is everywhere in science, The questions, rarher. are, H *Are 
our premises sound'" and "Is our reasoning valid^ tp If these questions 
can tie answered in cite affirmative, then our conclusions must Ire ac¬ 

Cims-consin marriage is exceedingly widespread among primitive peo¬ 
ples, Some group* however* $iich as ihc modern Arabs and Moham¬ 
medan* generally, pre/er marriage between parallel cousins. The reason 
for t]:ais is to keep property within the patrilineal lineage instead of al¬ 
lowing it to pass outside. Since rhe influence of the inheriranee of fic- 
cuimi fated property upon the selection of mates is a characteristic of more 
advanced culture* rather than t*f the less developed, we may regard these 
instances of parallel-catuitt marriage is i comparatively recent develop¬ 
ment. Our sequence of preferred types of marriage, running from unions 
between siblings and half-siblings to parallel-cousin marriage and then to 
cross-eorbing is unaffected, therefore, by the Arabian instance of parallel- 
cousin unions, \< i matter of fact, our theory helps to nuJee Arabian 
marriage institutions intelligible. ParaJlel-ccmsm marriage and certain 
rules of inherirance of property are devices for forming ami keeping in- 
tan a certain grouping of kindred, 11 patrilineal lineage* which under die 
conditions in which they Jive—plus cultural background—make this 
grouping highly effective in the struggle for existence. Here we find 
solidarity emphasized at the expense of me of cooperative group. 

Similarly, the instances of brother^bter marriage in the royal families 
of ancient Egypt* Peru, and Hawaii are examples of an intensification of 
solidarity at*the expense of siae of cooperaring group. In these royal 
families a large coopera ring group Is nor an advantage p they hold the 
power and aurhnmy of rulers, .ind hence do nor need the help of many 
relatives. On rlic other hand, a small compact group is a decided id- 
vantage as it keeps the royal power from becoming diffuse and weak. 
Brocher-sister marriage is an effective device for keeping kingship in 4 
single family tine. Tn Egypt- for example, the right to the throne was 
transmitted in the female line. But since a woman could nor, legally or 
customarily become king, the soil of a pharaoh married his sister, giving 
him a double claim to the throne and .ilso making it possible for his san 
to succeed Jiini- In ancient Hawaii, brother-sister marriage was d way 
uf in Ec nsifving rank and status among die tiding ckss. The occurrence 
of brothcr-riuet marriage on advanced cultural level, does not there¬ 
fore in validate our theory of exogamy and endogamy. On the contrary, 
our theory helps iis to understand ihh Form of marriage. 

Tn tracing the course of social evolution from the standpoint of cn- 
dogimy, we witness the same stejw and the same stages that we observed 
in following the extension of the rules of exogamy. This is, nf course, 
natural- it could not have been other wise. What we have h a process of 
development which contains two oppose but inseparable tendencies, a 


tendtn cry to marry out and a Tendency ro marry id. the one to increase 
the size of the mutual-aid group* die other to foster ics solidarity. These 
tendencies are balanced against each other in such a wav ns to achieve 
a maximum of effectiveness of the cooperating group. M conditions 
change so ns to make possible- an increase in size of group without 
diminurinn of effectiveness due to impaired solidarity, (he rules of 
exogamy are extended and the frontier* of endogamy recede Jt b in¬ 
evitable, therefore, that our Ids tor y of endogamy and of exogamy should 
present the saint stages of development. With regard to the ^conditions 17 
whose change brings about & riiifr in the balance between rhe tendencies 
of exogamy and endogamy, these are the technological meins of sub¬ 
sistence in relation to habitat and of defense and offense in relation to 
neighboring groups. 

What happened when xnamjge between first cross-courine became 
Incompatible with maximum size and effectiveness of the mimial-rid 
group formed by marriage? First of all, the efldngemmi't rule requiring 
marriage between fim cousins would lie relaxed and marriage between 
more distantly related individuals would be pennined Secondly, solidar¬ 
ity would be fostered and mam tamed cither by requiring marriage with a 
second cousin or by other means. We Imve a particularly fine example 
of what happened when marriage between first cross-cmirijis became ex¬ 
cessively endognmoos in cemiti tribes in Australia, an es ample that il¬ 
lustrates admirably the significance of ndts of exogamy and endogamy 
and the way they work together. 

According to Radcliffe-Brcnm. otic of the foremost students of Aus¬ 
tralian social organization, the kinship systems of Australia ran be grouped 
roughly into two main types, the Karkra and ihe Aroma types, In the 
Kariera type, a person must marry his first eross-courin. In ocher words, 
the rules of exogamy prohibit unions between parent and child, between 
siblings and Ivdf-rifilings, and betw een parallel cousins. Rut rhe rules of 
endogamy require one to marry fits firsr cross-cousin. In the Arunra 
type, one is not permitted to marry a first cross-cousin but is required 
tn wed a second cross^courioJ* In contrast with the Kariera system, the 
Arunra rule of exogamy has been extended to prohibit marriage with 

“O. A. R Raddirfe-Brmvn, iNJ.. vdL i, no. t+ p, ^5, 

u Ft mi y be iskcil why rrurrijgE with second pifmllel cmiSW w*s no! the first 
step beyond the print of fint ttost^ouin, in the cxteivuan uf the rulet of exopjmy 
and the coiTKjH^ci.iins: retreat of endojptnmifl requirements The innsTt fs that 
“Bre ihe tribe* in qutsriun are pirnUrical and piirilfafil, une half oI ymt parallel 
totreini. tJittte Ejc-lrmgmg to your ldriiex b i lincigv, WMiid necessarily reside 
in your own locality: jams of ihc nrher lalf, rhore belonging to your mother'* 
pMjtflril lineage, might. Your crew^coitiim. however, of the wesmi! degree, it well 
a* the flrK, would luVt to live k Irtodlff loenlity and e^HHcquenrJy be rriOTt ft. 
n?wdy rthttEif to van—feoili socially and gfojrtphkalEy—ihifi panlJci romim tr- 
•™g sn your own Territory. 

f i 0 TRIM 171VI CULTU RE 

first cros$r cousins, bur flic rule of endogamy, if ter retreating from the 
frontier of first-cousin marriage* stops and entrenches itself at its new 
boundary, that of second-cousin marriage. The Arunra type of kinship 
system In* therefore grown out of the Eiaricra type ; u the Kariera sys¬ 
tem Wfl- innsformed into the Amuta system by the simple device of 
changing the rule of marriage,, which meatu changing the rules of both 
csogantv and endogamy. 

The transition from ihc Karjcra type of organization to the Amnia 
type brought about the formation, throngh marriage, -jf a larger group 
of kindred, [n die former, wo families were muted: ego 1 * and that of 
Ills mother's brother En the latter, rEte Aroma type, four families were 
involved, namely, egos own, or thu formed by the marriage of his 
mother and father, hb mother's mother's family, that of Ids mother's 
mothers brother, and that of bis mother's mother's brothers daughicr. 
The number of “hordes/ 1 or local territorial groups, that were brought 
into rdationship with one mother was doubled, also. The simottairictnis 
changes in the rules of exogamy and endogamy have therefore produced 
a larger mutual-aid group farmed by marriage. 

The transformation of the Karicra type nf organizatinn inro the Annua 
type was brought about by changes in the adaptation of the soda- 
cut!rural system to its narural and to neighboring societies, i.e,, 
changes in the mode of subsistence and of relations of offense and de¬ 
fense. We do not know what these changes were, specifically. But the 
goal of the process of change is clear: the formation of .n larger mutual* 
aid group of kindred in order to nuke life more secure, in Ginptcr 7- 
in our discussion of segments in Australian tribes* the Transition from 
Karicra to Arama types of organizarion tvs 11 be described in some derail, 
and rise reader h advised to consult that discussion* which will further il¬ 
luminate the point \mt treated. 

Theoretically, the sac of the cooperating group, determined by rhe 
rules of exogamy, on the one liaud, and by the rules of endogamy, on 
the other, could be enlarged indefinitely by requiring marriage with 
progressively more remote cousins. Hue this would place ton great: a 
burden upon genealogical reckoning; as a matter of face* the Amnia 
system is rare* luting virtually unknown outside of Australia. When a 
certain point is reached in smal evolution* the expression of the processes 
of exogamy and endogamy assumes a new fonn> In addition to specific 
prohibition* reckoned genealogically, rhe rules of exogamy come to be 
formu!ited with reference io graopf whose member need not know 

#H Wt air ihm jBistifitt!. I think in regarding rhe K&rfen anil the Awndi [Amnnl 
fystaru as rtfiui in ao feroiuuemry process ..." RsJcEtTe-Bpjw-t*, op. m-. vd. 
t* H0v p i£ji- 



their genealogical connections with one another. In other words, h\ ad¬ 
dition to saying, if You may nor marry your parent*, siblings* cousins, 
riCr" the rules of exogamy will say, "You art prohibited from BttCfVxdg 
anyone in such and such a group (c.t^ dan), regardless of she genealogi¬ 
cal tie between you and the members of thb group.'* Similarly, the rules 
of endogamy will cease to specify t in terms of genealogical connect in, 
thote Individ Hah whom you must marry; they will now merely indicate 
and define the group witidn which you muy marry „ regardless of 
genealogical tit. Such groups vary. Tlse ciogaaicuis ^ocinl unit may be a 
family* local croup, dan, moiety, or some other grouping. Endogenous 
groups vary evert more widely. They may be uKucties, tribes, ctessics 
castes, nations, ryce>, religious faiths, or other hinds, of groups. 

In view of the feet that exogamy U frequently identified with dan or- 
gurii^adon, and tlierefure dial ditcuvsions of exogamy uften tteg-in at this 
point, ir is significant that we liave been able to set forth and explain 
ill the principles and essential characteristics of exogamy without refer¬ 
ence to clan organization ar all. Exogamy began whit the origin uf hu¬ 
man society, nr even earlier among the lower primates; it* nature and 
operation were fully revealed and expressed long befnre clan organization 
came into being. Equally significant is the fact that, fir from treating 
exogamy and endogamy as separate phenomena, or ns "nor mutual!y ex- 
clurdvc/' we have shown that these processes arc inseparable and uni¬ 
versal and that one cannot he understood apart from the other. 

We shall discuss exogamy and endogamy with reference to clans, 
moieties, castes, or other kinds of group later. We non understand these 
processes, why they operate, rhe ends served, and results achieved. The 
exogamous or endogamooj features of social groupings on levels of cul¬ 
tural development considerably above the most primitive arc merely 
further itianifcstarions of these two processes. We shall now rum to a 
few other institutions that may be illuminated by the application of nur 
theory of endogamv and exfipamy. 

Although the instirations of kiinire and somrate arc not usually dis¬ 
cussed in icrtt^ of endogamy, they arc nevertheless manifestations of this 
process. T[lc obligation of 3 mm to marry The widow of his deceased 
brother is, of course, m instance of endogamy. Likewise, the obligation 
of * group of kindred to supply a woman to take the place of a deceased 
wife in order to keep intact the alliance binned by marriage h ert- 
dogamous in effect* The inatinirinns of bride price and dowry may, 
though not necessarily, support rhe endogenous effect nf Eevirare or 
wiorate by encouraging or permitting the replacement of a deceased 
spouse as on alternative to fhe mum nf bride price or dowry, as the 
case may he. The endogamy fostered by I evirate and tororate and by 
bride price and dowry is tad dental to the perpetuation of the tics of 


mutual aid and obligation established between two family groups by 
marriage^ hut it is still endogamy. 

Sororal polygyny and fraternal polyandry ate likewise expressions of 
the findogamom process, A custom reciting, encouraging, or permitting 
3 man to many his brother's wife, or a woman m marry her sister*? hus¬ 
band, is endogainous in etf ecr. It is a way of promoring solidarity through 
establishing and multiplying intimate* and Therefore powerful, tics by 

likewise* rules of avoidance restrictions upon freedom of social inter- 
course between individuals closely related by tics of consanguinity or 
affinity, on die one hand, and customs designed To promote and foster 
intimacy between individuals, such as those commonly listed under the 
heading "joking telariomhip^ 1 on the other, are further cjjmpics of 
cxoganuius and endocamous processes, respectively, in society. Rules of 
avoidance minimize intimacy or ban social intercourse completely: they 
rims tend to keep individuals apart ami to prevent sexual or marital liaisons 
from taking place. Customs requiring or encouraging familiarity, on the 
other hand* promote intimacy* privilege, and solidarity even in instances 
where marital unions do not follow as a consequence. 

Our discus km of exogamy and endogamy thu* far has dealt with die 
very origin of human society anti with the earliest stages of its develop¬ 
ment We shall take cognisance of these processes from time to time 
in subsequent chapters where our concern will he with higlicr levels 
of cultural development. Before leaving this subject, however, we may 
make a rapid survey of endogamy and exogamy iu advanced culture. 

The processes of endogamy and exogamy operate on oil levels of cul¬ 
tural development. Frditemte and literate societies present wmurwhat dif¬ 
ferent aspects in this respect, however* In prelitcratc societies it is the 
ndcs of exogamy dial attract attention by their ubiquity and severity, 
whereas endogamy appears to be relatively insignificant—as we noted 
earlier (p. ioj)* Wedgwood finds that endogamy b "rare" among primn 
rive people?. In literate culm res, on the ocher hand, it is endogamy that 
attracts attention and exogamy seems to be less significant relatively, if 
not absolutely A certain amount of optical illusion is involved here. In 
prelitemtc societies, the local group, or band, or the tribe may be the 
only sharply defined endogenous group. As a consequence, rhe operation 
of tile endogamous process in marriage may escape notice. In advanced 
literate cultures* nn the other hind, one frequently finds a considerable 
number of kinds of endogenous groupings* whereas exogamy seems ac¬ 
tually to be less important than in prefitcratc cultures, if one may judge 
by the degrees of severin' with which the two types of cultures punish 
persons guilty of incest. Actually, of course, endogamy and exogamy 
are important social processes on all cultural levels, although their inani- 



fcstitimu may differ in degree of couspicuouttiess in the two types of 
sodety that we have distinguished. 

The scope of rules of exogamy tends to be less extensive in literate 
Than in prclhcrqte sodctifcL In preliterate cultures we find rules of 
exogamy referring :o members of a group, such as a dan, as well as to 
individual* whose genealogical connection h known and reckoned with- 
Thus, a person may be prohibited from marrying anodicr merely be¬ 
cause both belting to the same group (dan or moiety)* He is forbid Jen 
also to marry ccnain individuals bec-juse of their specific genealogical 
connection, )n lit crate cultures, the group specification of exogamk rules 
teiiifc to disapjrar, leaving only gene.ilogical tics to be eunmicred. In 
China, however, even today, one Li is not supposed to marry another 
as a genera! rule, which b without doubt a persistence of clan exogamy. 
But in the United States and muse, if nor ail. European countries, genca- 
logical ties alone need be considered. 15 In so far as rules of exogamy exist 
b literate cultures they are much the kune as in prrii cerate societies. 

In advanced, literate cultures tine finds many Linds of endogamoui 
groupings. 19 In some societies, occupdon^l groups ur guilds of special- 
bed flitbans, tend to be cndogamUiLV or at least to penmate the group 
by inheritance in the male line. Slaves and nobles irequcnffy commute 
cnifogamcms ellipses. In our own society* religious ilcnombadurts, es¬ 
pecially cerrain ones', make a great effort to achieve and maintain en¬ 
dogamy, either marrying only those of their own faith or by attempting 
to incorporate the outsider into their own group. Many states of the 
Union have laws prohibiting interracial marriages of one sort or another. 1 * 
These prohibitions of exogamy have the effect, of course, of laws of 
endogamy. Nationalities in the United States—communities of Italianx, 
Germans, Poles, etc.—also tend toward endogamy. We have an un- 
written and Ill-defined caste system based upon wealth and ciulnife which 
tends to prohibit members of distinguished or wcalrliy families from 
marrying common people without * y family** Of fortune* There b even 

u We flfTer the foUnwmij I\i.1 r" j' 1 1 £ from the DwipilcJ ' i‘f (hr (if iMlclu • 

%mt See. 3 Xu mm 4uU jinny iiis modif.r, grtndmdptlitr, daughter, grim!- 

daughter, Kcprarther, grandbtheri wife. rrrmlHjr 1 wife, wife 1 * m«twr 4 *ifah grmd- 
moiiirr, wife 1 * daughter, wife'* ^rrcdd Slighter, rmr hif tincr, brother* daughter* 
brier'tf daughter, fatW* diwr, nr nurfhrri rarer* “* €ou£a of Uic Gra: degree. 1 ' 

"Jr!nJ^j.rriiy MOttrhitci In ^nrifccj sud^ri-E^.ft. Ik Lowie + Marriage, in 
Extycfoptfdi* of tb* S&cM Sckmttj rot io, The Mac*EdUtn Company, New \ ufk, 

< 501 . P* *# m - . 

"Thtf thejc Uwi ate m* 10 be &Un %hdy ™ b^icired by * story drenhwd by 
eJw Associated Press In the fail of ^ 8 ; A young nun fmfti 1 mtuII im b &lis- 
kxs&frpi served a* 1 white nun in die United States Navy in World X\*t II. Lpod 
returning humr he rrurried ■ white wwu @nt store he wr* hditved to be 1 
Negro, if least to the tucnf of nne-cLghth bW. he wo ated nn 1 cbip of mb" 
cegeruritiu, convicted, and sentenced io five ynrt in the penitentiary* 


a tendency for political parries m c.wrc i?c endngamnus resrrierium- many 
a rock-ribbed Republican would be loath to have his daughter marry a 
Communist—or even a Democrat* 

The purpose of cndoganious mtte and customs in advanced cultures 
is dear. Their objective is the same as in pre literate society: solidarity. 
And, of course, solidarity k not an end in itself. It is valued and striven 
for because solidatity means effective group effort, efficiency in the 
conduct of JifcL, success in compcriricm, perpetuation, and survival. Thus, 
for example, the Jews favor endogamy because if promotes solidarity 
and effectiveness ingroup competition. Southern oppose marriage 

Wttli Negroes became marriage would dissolve co^ec line* arid thus re¬ 
move the economic and political advantages they now enjoy over Negroes 
as a subject class. There is some indication that Negroes, too* especially 
those in the Nortii* are showing some inclination toward endogamy, 
probably as a meant of strengthening their solidarity in competition 
with the wliifes, Fur an heiress to marry a poor nobody is to expose her 
own fortune and, through laws of inheritance, the fortune of her dose 
relative*, to ddim of numerous M poor rd.jcions. 11 It k significant to 
note, in tills connection, that the undent Greeks made an exception to 
the rule nf dan exogamy in the case of heiresses And as we have already 
seen, the custom of parallel-cousin marriage among the Aralts was due 
to the dedre to keep property within the parrs [meat lineage. 

Since incicsr is merely illegal endogamy, we may add a word or two 
upon tliis subject here. In rhe lira piece, we may note that whereas in- 
cesr is a most heinous crime, ofren punishable by death and disgrace 
in primitive society* it is a relatively insignificant offense in modem 
civilized cultures. The Punishment of Incest Act, passed by the British 
Parhaincnr in 190$, for example, nukes this offense a relatively minor 
one. punishable by a moderate line or term of imprisonment. It is in of¬ 
fense of approximately the same magnitude in die United States. The 
punishment of incest in England or America tod.iv ts Jess severe than 
(hat for theft of food to the amount of fm jn some instances* 1 * 

The reason for the difference in the evaluation of incest an 0[Tense 
in these two types of culture is fairly plain. In primitive society coopera- 
lion between families, between groups of kindred, is of the tirrnorf im¬ 
portance. In the struggle for survival cooperation must be iuld as all 
costs. And incest prohibitions were means of establishing and enforcing 
cooperation. Incest was a blow struck at the very foundation of the 
social order. This is why ir was punished 10 drastically, ft is significant 
to note also that incest is one of the few offense agab&t she gad* in 

14 According to die Ixw of the atjii; uf Michigan, inerts? u i friony, punishable 
Ly inipnanauiituE in the Mate prison format more i]un ten yean/ \tid:i&sn SvfuW 
A7moiattd n Mi if. Inct^. See. jjj. 


prdltcrate society; homicide* lying, stealing, etc., arc seldom sei in a 
superniituralisric contest. Primitive peoples regarded most ethical rules 
And their viobnan* is merely limiuit, nonrehgidm affairs tl mt they were 
able to cope with without aid from the gods, Rwt mj urgent wa* the 
need to prevenr incest in order to promote coopcraitem and solidarity 
that it* violation was punished by the gods n well ns by men. In modern 
literate cultures* fiuwcvcr, the situation is different. Here* society is based 
Upon property relations and territorial distinctions* Civil organisation re¬ 
places that of kinship. State and church, police, prisons, and courts or¬ 
ganize and regulate social intercourse. Economic organisation, occupy 
tionaJ groups, guilds of specialized artisans, and the professions also 
organize and conduct much of social 3 ife + Society docs not need to lean 
so heavily upon exogamy because it lias so many other stmemres to 
support it. Consequently. rhe crime of incest diminishes from one of 
the most heinous of all crimes to rhe category of a relatively minor 

It might seem farfetched, at first glance, tn inrerprer rhe celibacy 
of a social class in terms of the processes of endogamy and exogamy* 
rfnee they have to do with marriage, and celibacy a the negation of 
marriage- Bot it is precisely the "^negation'* that makes endogamy and 
exogamy it levant to celibacy. If rest is but a form of motion, as White - 
head says, Sft then wc may regard celibacy as a form of marriage. Celibacy 
k a form of marriage in which there is nn spouse, just as rest is a form 
of motion in which the velocity is zero. It is a condition readied by 
ccrenihng the rules of exogamy to infinity* or rather, to a point where 
no one is marrbgcably eligible. Conversely, celibacy is endogamy car^ 
tied 10 its furthest extreme, because the solidarity of die group is not 
diluted by the admission of spouses, 5 * Tints, endogamy and exogamy 
find their extreme and final form of expression in celibacy* 

Applying these principles to the Roman Catholic clergy A$ a class* 
their celibacy becomes intelligible. The wealth of the Church k not 
consumed by wives and children nor dissipated by heirs. Having no 
Wives nr children to claim their allegiance, the priests arc free to devote 
themselves wholly to the service of the Church, Celibacy is a means of 
fostering the integrity, of promoting the solidarity, of the clergy; in 
order em make the Group as a whole a more effective ami efficient or¬ 
ganization, The Roman ckrgy* as we know* fws not always observed or 

SB,J Rc5T k merely a particular n* al tueh nrotEnq, merely when the velocity I* 
ind rtiTttifii rrto" A_ R WtsJtthfjJ, IntwJiiction r* Mv bt m tiin , Oxford L ni- 
versfty Prtsv York, jpf& p- ro- 

*No eurrhly ipmise, that in, In wmc rmonsirie orden., wmnen beoh-nnr Sifide "E 
hn Thu*. marriage tnd edibwy- 111 * pniw Una in i iHO-Enchkin geommnr 
—enttt md imf isctt in Uir infcuiy of Christian Theology. 


enforced celibacy upon ii> members- It *ecms more than prohibit that 
the prohibition upon marriage has grown up and become frwrituti unsized 
for [he reasons given above. 

To summarize briefly [he central rhesh of this chapter; Esognmy and 
endogamy ar$ two opposite but univenal processes in 3 nnts.ui society; 
They are meins of regiibring the size and solidarity of cooperative 
groups, die rules of exogamy (ending to increase the size, and rhctc^ 
fort she strength, of the group, die rules of endogamy fostering solidarity 
and integrity^ These rules vary specifically with the situation as deter¬ 
mined by habitat, technology, conditions of subsistence and defence— 
in short, the mode of life- 

Exogamy appears to be more conspicuous, and even important, in 
prrlircrjtc societies than In iitcratc culture^ whereas the reverse b the 
case with endogamy. Prohibitions of inccsr are less important in a so¬ 
ciety based upon property rcLirions* one having occupational groups* 
the political state, and a police force, th an in a society based upon kin¬ 
ship. Conversely, in a highly structurally differentiated society like our 
own, endogamy rinds mere frequent expression in castes and other in¬ 
groups than in the more structurally homogeneous societies on primitive 

Chapter 6 KINSHIP 

In our account of the origin and early stages of evolution of human so¬ 
ciety we discussed such mutter* as the organisation of the family, incest 
taboos, the deduction between parallel cousins and cross-cuudn?, the 
operation of rules of exogamy and endogamy, and so on. But wc had 
littfc io say about the means with which such organization w as effected 
and such processes carried on. We did indie .ire Ehot the means were 
kinship ten us. and we showed how they were used fo organize and to 
reguktt family life in the earliest stages of human social evolution. But 
the subject of kinship terms, or more broadly, kinship sysrems, is of 
grcai significance; it deserve* particular and extensive consideration, 
A kinship term h a word that designates a social relationship arising 
out of the husband-wife* purcni-child, nr intersbling idationihip for a 
relations Flip which is equated with such a lie of cofisanguinity or affinity, 
we sEiall return to such rdarmndiips later on). Since a Unship term 
deagnates j relationship between one person, or ckss of person^ and 
another, uch term presuppose and requires a correlative or a reciprocal 
term * 1 Thus, faih& requires rile correlative term ton or daughter; coimn 
requires the reciprocal in f and so on. The overt behavior and the 
attitude of persons designated by kinship terms toward one another, 
and in terms of the relationship designated by these terms comtirure a 
Unship tyttm 

A kinship term desiopiates s rdetionAb between individuals or elates 
of individuals, mther than the actual Individuals themsdves. Thus, Mary 
is mv aunt because she sr.iritis in a certain relationship to me; she may 
stand in another relationship to you, and consequently he your sister 
or your mother, A relative k therefore a person who stands in a certain 
relationship to yon. And any relationship, such ns courin, brother-in-law* 
aunt, etc.* mitv contain ati indefinite number of individuals; mother is 

fc h r. m rcr^itinp fro note rh*r t™* H. Mwgati, tk* founder <pf dw fdtiiet 
kinship, dktin^ukltcd tjciwcm ourr dative mj itdjiroril rerras, whereas ju«t inj- 
denti today aft concent wifh rt&prorpt only. $te Margin 1 ! Sytirmt 
md of iJt< Homan Family, Snvifhvmhn OtirritiUEtaiii n Ifriiiwhilgr, 



the name of a dm of relationships, or relatives. even though rhe kinship 
system may admit of only one mother* some doses m&y have only one 

A kinship system must have a point with reference to which kinship 
terms have meaning. To say thar John is a son tells us nothing definite; 
it is like saying that Toledo h east. The fixed point of reference in i 
kinship system is the person speaking, conventionally called ego. Every 
individual is the center of a kinship system; the various relationships 
radiate out in all directions, lineally and collaterally; from this pi nr. 

We have already emphasized the fact that the relationships with which 
incest taboos and die rules of exogamy and endogamy are concerned 
are social, rather than biological* relationships anil we have given reasons 
why this must lie so. In addition 10 ignorance of the biological nature of 
reproduction, which must have characterized human society during the 
earlier stages of its evolution, there is the impossibility of knowing 
with certainty who the father of a child Ls; in some cases a woman 
might euu know which of a few men h her child'* father. AH kinship 
systems must, therefore, lie based upon and consist of social, rather than 
biological, relationships. The culture of the United States disposes many 
permits to believe, or to fed, that our kinship system rests upon a 
biological bask, but this error is easily exposed. The mother of u child 
is a woman who stands in j certain socially defined and accepted rela¬ 
tionship to that child regardless of who brought the child into the world 
Our taws with regard to adoption illustrate this. And again* how cm a 
husband be sure of the paternity of hk wife's children 1 No society luis 
ever been able to prove paternity. The Code Napoleon has tome as 
close to n is any society can; “Tim father of the child is the husband nf 
the mother. 5 * If the mother has no husband, the child has no father, i.e.. 
no one standing in a certain socially sanctioned and legally prescribed 
relationship to him. 

The sociological character of kinship systems is demonstrated also by 
the use of such terms as mother and father in some systems: a person 
may have several fathers and as many mothers; or he may have a 
“father” who is in the same generation JjLs grand child. And in some 
cultures, 1 'mother” may designate 3 male; among the Alcunhtt of East 
Africa mother** brother is a “male mother,,” Conversely* amnng the 
Zulus father's sister b called "father,*' 

The purpose, or function, of * kinship system k to relate persons to 
one another* to organize them mm a group nr aggregation, and to direct* 
regulate, and control their behavior toward one another in a great and 
varied number of contexts and situations. In the preceding chapters we 
have discussed the organization of individual! for coopers rive activity, 



the formation of mutual-aid groups, These groups were kinship group; 
they were organized, regulated, and controlled by kinship systems. 

A kinship tie is a compound made up of concept, attitude, and overt 
behavior: l have a concept of father, 1 have a certain attitude toward 
anyone who stands in this relationship to me. and I must believe toward 
him in a certain manner. Correlative! y% my father will liavc a certain at¬ 
titude and will behave in a ccrioin way toward me. A kinship tie it 
conceptual tv defined, oriented bv attitude, and expressed hi overt be- 
iiavior. Concept, attitude, and behavior are, uf course, matters of socio¬ 
cultural determination. A kinslfip system is therefore u means of or- 
gtmizing a number of individuals upon the basts of tics of consanguinity 
and affinity and of directing, regulating, and controlling (heir interkin 
behavior in various contexts- What are these contexts? 

In a word,, the goal of a kinship system is the security of life. It func¬ 
tions in contexts of subsist cnee, offense, and defense and protection in 
general. St focuses upon certain rimes in 2 person's life when assistance 
b especially needed: birth, naming, puberty, marriage* sickness, and 
death. Teaching and training children 10 carry on life^vtaiivmg activities: 
in suftthrcEicc, offense and defense, and medicine—to hunt, fish, grow 
crops* tend herd^ fight, cure sickness, to acquire proficiency in the 
arts and crafts—arc functions of a kinship system 

Bur □ kinship system docs more than help a relative cope with the 
external world, at least directly. It relates person to person in order 
to promote social solidarity* as well as to obtain the benefits of mutual 
aid in activities in which the external world is di reedy concerned. Rut 
solidarity is nor an end in itself; it is a way of making a gT^up more ef¬ 
fective in the conduct of lift, and hence u way of making life more 
secure. Instruction of the young in ethics and etiquette, i.c„ in proper 
wxy$ to behave toward others* is an important function of kinship 
systems. And there arc numerous rituals which have as their function the 
intensification of a kinship tie* Or a reaffirmarinu of its importance. The 
ritual uf gashing one s $ self with a knife upon the death of a relative is a 
case in point. 

Wc ibu$ see tliattbc cooperative organization discussed in the previous 
chapters and the kinship system of this arc one and (he same thing. They 
arc organizatioEts of individuals upon the ha>A of kinship ties that have 
as their function making life more secure in inaei-to-oaturc aspects (sub¬ 
sistence, protection) and in tnau-ti>rnan aspects (solidarity^ 

Fbon and Z-fciwitt haw given us a very interesting example ol the 
way in which economic and social life may be regulated by the rules 
of kinship in a very primitive trilacn* Among the Kumal of Australia 

1 Loiimcr Hsmi and A. W. Ho wire, KtmiUrm Mmhui, 1B&3, p. i(S^ 


during the 1S70S, food was divided and distributed in the following way: 
A burner returns to camp with a wombJt (a kangaroo like animal)* It 
h cooked, thm cue up and distributed. The hunter keep the head. His 
Father gets the ril* on the right side* U$ mnrher the ribs on the !cfr 
side plus the backbone* The elder brothers receive the rigtu, the younger 
brothers, the left, shoulder. "The right hind leg goes to the elder skrer. the 
Tuft liind leg to the younger sister. The rump and liver are sent to the 
camp of the young unmarried men. But the distribution, on the basis 
of kinship* goes even farther. When the father lias received his portion 
he must share it with his parents, giving them the skin. Similarly; the 
mother of she hunter must share hex pardon with her prercts: she gives 
the backbone to her father, some of the shin to her mother. 

At first glance this distribution would seem to have reference to the 
man-m-suture relationship only, since it is ostensibly concerned with 
food iiupplv: k might be interpreted merely av 4 means of mutual secsirity 
through sharing* Hut every faiuify would contain sir least one hunter and 
possibly more, and game was not so scarce rhur each animal captured 
would h^ve to lie widely distributed. We may reasonably conclude, 
therefore, that much of this distribution was done for the sake of pro- 
moting social solidarity* The rules of distribution made people dependent 
Upon one another, and therefore intensified the ties that related them 
to one another. An ostensibly economic device thus serves also as a mating 
of fostering solidarity by creating and exercising a set of reciprocal duties 
and rights. 

The origin and development nf kinship systems were identical with 
rhe origin and development of the cooperative organization in the 
earliest stages of human social evolution* The cooperative group* or¬ 
ganized upon the basis of kinship, had its origin m the family that man 
inherited from his anrhropoid ancestors, as wc have already seen, Kin¬ 
ship relations were first defined and designated within the family: btzr 
they were extended beyond rhe nuclear family fllofig lines of consanguin¬ 
ity! both lineal and collateraL They were also established between families 
by marriage and extended among affinal rebtiyev both lineally and col¬ 
laterally Thus, kinxtiip as a sociocultural phe ran me non had its origin 
within the primordial, nuclear family, and tlieti cxtended outward in 
ad directions along genealogical IEnea to embrace an ever-widening; circle 
of people. And the kinship system, being an organization of attitudes and 
acts, of duties and rights, ticcamc 2 powerful and effective means of 
directing and regulating social life. 

As kinship ties Art extended outward from one family, so are they ex¬ 
tended by all families and os a consequence an indefinite number of 
family groups become interrelated through mutual bonds of kinship* 

riNSMfP Mt 

This process can continue until the entire tribe hoccimis a continuous 
web nr kinship, a political structune erected upon the found j[ inn of 
consanguinity and affinity. Everyone become a relative of «tn r one 
eke nnd consequently knows how to behave toward him and what re¬ 
sponse to expect in return* The tribe will Then become the oTtr-all co¬ 
operative group* In Jtindsmcriial respects the social life of the rribc, 
interpersonal behavior in the basic activities of subsistence and offense- 
defense, is organized an if carried on in terms of kinship. 

Kinship may be extended to intertribal relations also, "In 3 typical 
Australian tribe,*" says Raddiff^Sroviu "it is found that a man can 
define his relation to every person with whom he bits any scent dealings 
u iuTever, whether of liis own or of another tribe, by means of the terms 
of relationship. 1 ' * In some instances friendly social Intercourse b im¬ 
possible except on .1 basis nf kinship. Rsdcliffc-Brown tells of a journey 
that he made among native tribes in Australia, accompanied by a black- 
fellow . 1 When they arrived at a camp where his companion was not 
known the natives began at once to look for a bond of kinship between 
the stranger and themselves* die inquiry proceeding along genealogical 
lines. When a kinship connection had been discovered, the stranger was 
"admitted tt> the camp and the different men and women were pointed 
out to him and 1 heir relationship to him defined/ 1. Then and only then 
did friendly social intercourse with him become possible. On one oc¬ 
casion, all attempt* to discover s bond of kinship with the stranger 
failed. "That: night / 1 wys Jladcliffc-Browm, ,4 *uy 'boy 1 refund to deep 
in the native camp, ls was his usual custom anil on talking 10 !iim I 
found that he wts frightened llse^e men were not his relatives and 
they were therefore Ids enemies. This represents rhe red feeding of the 
natives on the matter. If 1 am a Id nek fellow and meet mother black- 
fellow* that other must be either my relative ox my enemy. If he fc my 
enemy I slmll take the first opportunity of killing him for fear he will 
kill me.” 

We have been speaking of exec riding kinship relations along genealogi¬ 
cal I in ml 1 Tn do this requires t*oth precis mfurrmtinn arid memory: 
fine must know, and be able to remember, who married inj who liegii 
whom, Without written records* genealogical reckoning breaks down 

*A. R, R^dtir^Brnm* *TTic Social Qtfptimbm of Ainrnlbn Trib«/ 0v/jmj p 
fti* i, m>, i. pp 44*4*. rfljo. 

*A. IL ftftddiffe-Riinwn. Triba of Wenem Awfftilt* I&utmi nf r*f 

ftoyai rfmbropGfofp&i bmtruir, nL 4h pp- ■ff'J- 

* By gciicabigEcjJ nchaak^ we mean tndof a t^aliuiivlup between wa penuro 
in terns of the ictml and pafrietdar aflmctiani» affinal id coruangiunc. Exattmta 
my mtxhtft mod*?* Lmthcr'i daughter's daughter; my fiif«r 4 j*daVi bfotho * 
snn's wife. 

113 PRJMJTWL CtJtrtJtf 

sooner or later. The writer found among the Southwestern Pueblos that 
few, if any, informants could name ilieir mother's mother’s mother's 
siblings, and many could nut be sure of the Ablings of mother's mother. 
Then, too, genealogical reckoning tends to fail as the size of the tribe 
{rtcntasei. In an endogamous tribe of only nvo or three hundred, ufic 
might lie able ro know precisely bow he h related to everyone ebe- 
flut suppose the tribe contains i few or several thousand. Generations 
of endogamy would of course relate rich person to everyone dse. But 
Jacking written records, it would Ik impossible for one ru know how 
he was related to thousands of other individual, specifically mid genea¬ 
logically In >hurn the kinship system* expressing genealogical relation- 
ships in terms nf consanguinity and affinaty„ has limit> beyond which if 
cannot function effectively, This means, therefore, that the size of rhe 
sociopolitical unit, Le. b the tribe, that can he organized on rhe basis 
of genealogical reckoning alone is limited, and that social evolution on 
this basis could nut go beyond these limits unless new means of dealing 
with kinship were devised* New means were developed, however, and U 
then became possible further ro extend the radius of kinship organization 
by supplementing genealogical reckoning with nortgcnculogical reckoning, 
A kinship sysEem based upon genealogical reckoning alone is specific 
and particular. The person speaking is always the focal point of the 
system, which means that the significance of the terms of designation 
and classification is always relative, either than absolute. *TJnde* has 
meaning only with reference to a particular person or class of |icrson&; 
to say that a certain person is rnv “uncle" k to say nothing about his 
relationship *o you Hence each person k obliged w remember a great 
number of specific and particular genealogical connections and memory 
has limits. If, however, a system of dasyfieatlon could be devised tltii 
would be genera] instead of particular, absolute imtrjcl of relative, in 
which everyone in the tribe would find himself in uric or another of 2 
few or several group hio which the tribe was divided, and in which 
membepship in a group, rather than genealogical connection between 
individuals, was rise hast of reckoning, the scope of the kinship system 
could Ik much extended, 

Oans, lineages, and moieties are groups of this kind. A dan is a body 
of kindred; everyone in it b related to everyone ebe. But it k often 
impossible for a person ro determine his genealogical connection with 
many nf his clansmen. This k nor necessary, however; mere member¬ 
ship in the dan is sufficient to provide 3 basis for sn adequate social rela¬ 
tionship. The significance of the dan as a device for classifying relatives 
is now disclosed. A dan system is a general system of classification rather 
than a particular one. A man is "uncle" only to certain individuals; a Com 
clansman is Com dansman to all the world. The individual is no longer 



the sdk basis upon which kinship b reckoned \ tribal subdivisions. ckns, 
have been added. Now a person need no longer depend upon genealogi¬ 
cal reckoning alone. He need not know whether hk mother's mother 1 * 
mother was the uterine or collateral sister of my mother'* mother s father 
or nor, if both belonged to the same clan they may lie assumed to have 
been brother and sister. When die limits of genealogical reckoning have 
Irccn reached, the clan system cemits to hh Venice. Instead of being 
obliged to know whether a person is (lifi mothers mother's mother's 
brothers daughters daughters um or not,, he can rely upn dan member¬ 
ship as a guide to kinship .uni behavior* And, moreover, he dots not need to 
memorize the dan .ttHfiat inn of everyone with whom he nuy have social 
intercourse;, he can ascertain this readily by inquiry. 4 

Tims dan organization serves as an effective device for classifying 
relatives and determining rdtirio rib Flips on a mmgcnealogical basin. In¬ 
stead of being facet! with the necessity of determining one's genealogical 
connection with each of a few 1 thousand individuals, one can now estab¬ 
lish his relationship to them on the bads of dan membership. Each in¬ 
dividual will he personally connected with a number, perhaps *U H of the 
dans of his tribe by genealogical ties known to him. Thus his father lac- 
longs to clan A, his tn other to II. hits parents parents might involve two 
other dans. C and D„ His children and grandchildren might bring him 
into relationship with other clans. He would be related to elans also 
through m&rriaire: Isis own, those of his siblings, his uncles and aunts, 
his children, and so on. Thus each individual would be closely related 
genealogically m members of several dins. Then, through this genealog¬ 
ical connection, a relationship with the entire clan \$ established. In some 
kinship systems. any male member of my father's dart is my “father* and 
Ins,, children will be mv "brothers* 1 and * - sisCert/ 4 Female members of 
another dan would be my “aunts/ 1 ^sisters,** or "mother*/* because of 
my genealogical connection with a member of that dan. TIm elan thus 
provides a means of establishing significant and specific relationships 
berwccn myself and an indefinite number of persons w itb whom 1 can 
trace no exact genealogical connection. 

What we have said here about the cUn would apply dso to moieties os 
kinship groups (iiC. f excluding moieties rtftf based upon kinship; see p. i 5ET 
In tribes divided inm two cxtigamous lineages or moieties, kinship is 
reckoned upon the basis of affiliation with the moiety is well as upon 
genealogical reckoning. My parallel cousins* for example* will belong to 

'The dLiJfeitncc tetwetu j pr-irubmae* relitiviau: genraJogierf mode of reckon¬ 
ing kiiuhip ties ami a pencmh absoluriscic method wch as dan nrgmiEifitixi pro- 
Vid« » anaJopq? to the diffetrnec iHftwrcn * rymm whkh tm one prim on 
dte canln Turfacr « norrhesir bv fait 0/ mother |Wim md a which !ucai£i 

any and all poimt in icrmt of latitude and longitude. 

114 FftiJVjmVI- OTLWME 

my miifcry'i mv cu^-cn utins, to the opposite moiety. I Jo not need to 
know the dv;sct genealogical connection totween myself ;md others in 
order m csctblidi kinship relations as a basis of behavior; 1 need only to 
know thdr moiety affiliation, and this I can easily ascertain by asking 
sum tone if t do nor already know it. 

We have now considered two ways of reckoning kinship? (i) by 
actual genealogical connection, and (?) by means of group affiliating 
Hue the latter may be called an Slimed genealogical bait?., because die 
dan or moiety" is in fact a kinship group* There is an actual genealogical 
cotmecticm between me and other members of my dart* even though 1 
cannot determine what it is for tack of information. When, Therefore, 
l cull a man "father 1 ’ or "brother” because he is a member of my clan, 
i pm justified in assuming n real genealogical connection, even though 1 
do not know what it is. 

But in addition to actual genealogies! relationships, whether they be 
known or nor, many cultures create kinship ties and equate them with 
genealogical relationships when it is known full well that this is nor die 
case. There i$ a variety of ways of crating kinship ties. 

One very common device by means of which genealogical relationship* 
may lie created is the ritual of providing an infant with another set of 
parents. These may l>c called bv our own term* “godparents. 1 fc The ritual 
is usually performed when the child is named. The man and woman who 
become the godparents may of course f>e related to the infant prior to the 
ritual. In ■ small tribe they certainly would bc T since in relatively small 
endogamom group- eadi prion h related to everyone die. Bur in any 
cvenc, they would almost certainly nut hr 'father" anil "mother" to the 
baby prior to the ritual. The godparents are chosen as a rule by tile par¬ 
ents of the infant. The principles of endogamy and exogamy would 
operate in their selection* They would nor choose persons already in- 
timutely related ra the toby because very little in the way of solidarity 
would l>c gained thereby. Nor would they select persons very remotely 
related because the tie of godparent would then be too tenuous and weak 
to be of much use. The parents would try to pick a man and woman 
who were si the optimum distance—not ton close, not too far—from 
the toby in order in derive the mminium benefit in the form of solidarity 
from the selection. The ritual device of godparents gives the toby another 
father and mother who are bound inthnardy to him hv powerful tie*. 
But the ritual nuiy. and usually does, do more than provide the toby 
with parrws; it gives him undcs and aunts, brothers and sister^ etc<* as 
well. A whole new set of reciprocal or correlative rights find obligations 
is rhus established by the ritual of godparents, and social solidarity and 
mutual aid ate much promoted thereby. The survival of godparents in 



our own culture today I* an interesting 1 example of the vitality of kin¬ 
ship as li mechaniim of social organization* 

The rinial of godparems might he called a form of adoption. There 
arc o riicr form* of Htud adoption, Clan adaption is widespread among 
primitive peoples, although induction into a den U almost always, if nor 
universally, effected by adoption into a particular family, one mcmlw 
of which is also a member uf the chn in queEtion . 7 When a person lias 
been cured of an illness hy a medicine man hr may he adopted by the 
doctor as hk “son." Tills is quire common among the Pueblos of the 
Southwest, Here again a person acquires a whole new sei of relatives ps 
a consequence of .1 ritual, Jn tome tribe* a yotuh Im* j sponsor who in¬ 
tends him during jib progress through an initiation oriuL This spa mor 
may become the youth's “father/' ir is significant that the initiate b viid 
m be "hum again 11 in many such irhumccs of initiation and ritual adop¬ 
tion. Then rhertr arc ritual* nf cstj blinking brotherhood* often by mixing 
the blood 1 nf the contracting parries. 

The reason far multiplying kinship ties by artificially creating them 
should be fairly plain bv nnw: it k done to increase the number of |K L opk 
tn whom one is bound by powerful tits of mutual aid; the more relatives 
to help you the better. 

The extension tif kinship ties goes even farther in primitive society 
than *ve have described so far. Special groups as secret societies nr 
otiicr ccrcmoriial organizations are frequently, if nor usually, cast m the 
form of a body of kindred, with the members being "brothers" or “sisters” 
to one another, the leaders being “fathers" or "mothers.” Thus, the mem¬ 
bers of a medicine society among the Kercs arc "brothers" to one another, 
while the head of the organization is the "father/' 'Hie same is true of 
their hunters’ and warriors" societies. Tnbal officers* too, are frequently 
designated by kinship terms, “father” [ "sire" m civil society) being the 
most usual* hue “mother” may be the designation of the male head of a 
pditied system, as Is actual!v the ease among rFic Kercs-' One of the title* 
of the priotipi wife of the Inci emperor was M&mzmcik } H Out 
Mother ." 10 The principle of kinship may he applied to clan and moiety 
organisation, also,. the cbm in cadi motey being brother clans to one 

1 See., for cxttnpk, L A. Whitt, *The Pi Kbit? of Santa Anc New Mexico^ Amrr 
arm AmbrQprtto%i£jl AtfOCMon, Manoir r Go, pp, 14^-1 yi p dm Willkm I. 
Tlwhas, PtitnitTpc Btb&riar Y 1917. pp. i 40-1 fa, 

taerherbmul" Ivn b«n m eaurmoittEv widespread and trnpamm way 
of creating kinship tici-, S*r, fee cwinplc, Thorn**, op. pp* 1^171, for a fttr- 
vey flf rhit czuemi imun^ prelkemt pcnplct 
* Cfc White* ffp, p. upA, fontnaie 6 , 

“T Eh ftnw t t H ]nea Cuitun: IE ihc Time of ihc Spanish Conquer" H*ndfrwk 
of Somt American J. ft Steward ltd.), ■wWS p sj& 


another, the dans in the opposite moiety being parents, children, or 

Thus, the principle nf kinship may permeate the whole Structure of 
a tribe and operate *m all levels from the individual tribesman to the chief 
of the tribe. The kinship organa nation forms a network which encloses 
each individual in a sveh of multiple tics; it operates along genealogical 
lines, being established by consanguinity and affinity; it is established 
also by a variety of rimaJ devices; it is the basis of clans and moieties; it b 
the form assumed by sccrer societies and other associations; and it gives 
a particular status to the officers of the tribe, Thus, from top 10 bottwnt, 
and throughout its extent laterally, tribal organ iz&rioft re nth, to assume 
the form and spirit of kinship* This is. of course. barb logical and natural; 
ir is but the development of the principle upon which human social organ¬ 
ization was founded in the first instance: cooperation on the basis of kin- 

Kinship systems* or more particularly kinship noinendjcures, vary 
enormously- These variations can be grouped together into d jlsscs or 
types. Gassification presupposes a principle of classification, of course, 
and therefore the number of clashes or types distinguished will depend 
upon I he p rinciple employed, and there are a number of p rinciples, or 
criteria, rhat may he used. But we shall return io the problem of deifica¬ 
tion laicr. We wish here merely to indicate something of the range and 
variation gf types nf kinship nomenclature, using the term type merely 
to designate an indefinite number of nomenclatures that resemble one 
another in some significant respect. There is no generally accepted das- 
rification gf nomenclatures and but little uniformity of natron of type*- 
Bur we can display something of the variation among them, neveniielcsft. 

In the Hawaiian type of nomenclature (Figure 6 -1) rherc are re-ally only 
five terms: grandparent, parent, sibling, child, and grandchild, with, 
however, qualifiers to indicate sex. This means that parents 1 siblings are 
called 1 'parent,™ or “father" and “mother / 1 One's cousins are called 1 -sib¬ 
ling / 1 or “brother" and ^tister / 1 Nephews and nieces arc called "child / 1 
or "son 1 ' and "daughter / 1 Similarly, in the grandpa rent and grandchild 
generations all relatives are called “grandparent" and “grandchild/' re¬ 
spectively, In short, there is ji terminological merging of collateral and 
lineal kin In each generation. This interesting system was discovered by 
Lewis 1 E. Morgan, who called ir Malayan other riun Hawaiian. It was this 
system that played such a prominent pan in Ids formulation of rhe theory 
of group marriage and primordial promiseuity: if brothers and sisters 
married each other, then ill would Ijc equally "mothers" and 'Tatters" 
to their offspring, and all one's cousins would he "brothers 1 ' and "sisters-” 
Tn the Iroquois type (Figure father^ brother is ^father/’ mothers 
sister is "mother / 1 and tiicir children are “sihUngs / 1 Crow-cousins are 


Figure 6-1 r Uiwaiitui type of kimhip tftJfltimolugy. 


Figure 6-1. Ifiiijiuiii t yjjc of lumhigi terminology. 


t2 9 

^cousins.™ The Sibsh system distinguishes parents* siblings from parents, 
but father's siblings are not distinguished from Those nf mother, All com- 
ins ire “siblings, 1 * and the children of cousins arc "nephew 11 and “niece, 1 * 
as distinguished from “son" and “daughter / 1 In the Mackenzie type, 
parents' siblings are distinguished front parents, and father's siblings from 
those of the mother. All cousins arc "siblings." and their children are 
"nephew * 1 and “niece." r The distinguishing chime tens tic of rhe Crow 
arid Omaha types Is the disregard of generation in the designation of 
relatives in certain lineages. Thus, in the Crow system (Figure all 
males in cgo T s (a mile) fathers matriEiiicjl lineage arc "fathers"; in the 
Omaha system* all females in egt/s fa male) mother's pacrilineal lineage 
are "mothers*" In the Eskimo system there is very little merging of lineal 
and colliircra! kim Parents* siblings are differentiated from patents, cousins 
from si tilings, and nephews and nieces from children. Put hi the second 
descending generation, all persons, collateral and UeicliU -ire called "grand- 
duldrcTip 11 

Finally, we might cite ^ich as our own in which there h no 

merging of collateral anti lineal Ides but in which parens' male sibling* 
are designated by a single term; their female siblings by another; and 
all cousins are grouped together under one term, Or we might cite the 
Arabic nnmendafure, which b much more specific and particularizing 
in the designation of relative* than our own, In this system, for example, 
fathers fathers brother is actually called father's fathers hmeher; and 
father's lister's son is called father's sister's son. 

The problem of classifying the numerous and varied patterns of kinship 
nomenclature is a difficult one, and a completely satisfactory solution has 
tint yet been worked out. The principal difficulty meats to be that of 
determining what criterion or principle should be uwti. To use one thing 
only, e.g.p the wiy in which cross-cousiiis are designated, does not seem 
To be sufficient, but what combination of traits would provide the basis 
far an adequate classification remains to be determined. 

Morgan distinguished two major ty pes of ttrmfndlogy. the clavrificatory 
and the descriptive* The former he subdivided into Malayan (Hawaiian) 
and Turino-fianowanian, He recognised, but did not name, further 
subdivisioEis within the Gone wan Fan, or American Zndian t group of nomen¬ 
clatures. Rivers distinguished three types of nomenclature: (t) the 
“family system/* brought into being by the nuclear family organization 
such 3is our own; (i) the "kindred system/' arising from the extended 
family* in whtch father^ siblings are distinguished from mother’s sib- 
ling*, father's brother from father ind mother's sister from mother; and 
(I) the cbm system, in which lineal and collateral relatives are merged 
terminological I v al certain point.* (Morgan's claisi ft eatery system ). 11 

u W. I i R. Riv-m, Kmitip md OrfimbttkBi ly^ | J -T- 7^-Si- 



spier distinguished eight type* of nomenclature in aboriginal North 
America, but they do not all test upon the ^jmc basis, or principle of 
chailfeitlOn. 18 Rnddiffc-Browm lias distinguished an indefinite number 
of typEi of kinship nomendimirc in his various papers, but nowhere has 
he undertaken * comprehensive cLv^ificarioM nf jsysterns, Murdock has 
lit types; Eskimo* Hawaiian, Iroquois. Sudanese, Omaha, and Crow 1 , His 
dissifjeatinn rests upon the way in which cross-cousins are designated 13 

Perhaps the most ailecjuate over-all dissificarion, one that embraces 
descriptive 3$ well ^ cLissificatory ivsteim, U one that has been devised 
independently by Lowic n and Kjrchhoff,™ at least according to Alur- 
d»K:k. E9 In this dassifimkin there are fuur types of terminology; 
{1) bifmcrtU merging, in which father ufld father's brother, mother and 
mother 1 * sister, are merged; (:} trifurcM? rultainjl: father’.* siblings art 
distinguished front mother's siblings* far her is dbringuiihed from his 
brother, and mother is distinguished from tier shier; { j) lineal: father 
is di'.ringufshcd from his brother, mother is disisnpished front her lister, 
hut father’s brother and mother’s brother are called by the same term, and 
mother’s sister ant! fathers sister ore designated by the same term; and 
(4} gt-fternfioTi: father, fathers brother, and mother’s brother are desig¬ 
nated by one term; mother, mother's sister, and father s sister by one 
term also. 

How is this great variety of kinship nomenclature to be explained? 
Free will and caprice may be dismissed at the very outset, A people, 
or sociocultural system, does nor designate relxiioaship among kindred 
in accordance with whim or fancy. On rhe contrary, each people lielieves 
its own nomenclature to be a natural instiruriorv And the ethnologist, 
too, ah a scientist, must regard kinship nomenclature as natural phenom¬ 
ena among which the principle of cause and effect operates, and 'which 
therefore constitute □ realm pervaded by order- 
Morgan was the first to attempt an explanation of the various types of nomenclature. They were created, lie reasoned, by different forms 
of marriage and the family, and consequently they expressed “systems of 
consanguinity and affinity.” According to bis theory p mankind began its 
career in a condition of jarmni&cuity, The evolution of society proceeded 

^Ldlc Spiff. - [1 p Diuiibitdoa of Kinslsjp S)Timtt in North Anicrici, C n/- 
tx nity of Wuhington PuMi&rti&m iff Anihropalu^. to*. 7* p^t- 
m Gmv& V Murdock. SoeuJ Smtetv*, Tte Mt&riBha Cunpuv, New York i*#p 

pp. U 1-114. 

“ Rh IF. Lowec, Tlohuorahip Term* in F.ncychpjfdu BmxTTwat, tfth «d-, 

•Paul Kirchhaff* "VerwaudEsduft^^ me! % r crwus*ltEEilid>it, M- 

tthifi far Etkntih^u^ vtai 64, pji. ^A-^Ur (?|t 
"Mm&xk* ep- ciu p The discussed this point wiih Professor 

Lewie* who concur* m this intcrprciirinii* 

mmmn cuvrun 

through the various forms of group marriage urtiiJ monogamy was 
readied. As i new form of irnrmgc and the funnily was evolved, it pm- 
diiced a new system of cansinguritily anti offinlry. and consequently 
a new type of kinship nomenclature. Roughly* the communal family 
produced the Malayan i Hawaiian) system; clan organt/jitinn, the Tura- 
nbn-Ganowanbn system; and the modem mmogamisn family instituted 
the descriptive system. Thus we find .Morgan formulating a socsofogicd 
theory of kinship retire nomcndatorcs arc expressions of social organ¬ 
ization in general, but particularly of forms qf marriage and the family. 

Morgan's theory was attacked by the Scottish jurist and ethnologist 
John 1 \ McLennan, who branded Systcr/n v; Ctmratfguinity as "utterly 
unscientific 11 in character, 17 The c Justificatory nomenclature: was "a sp 
tetn of mtmzal saturations merely* 41 McLennan insisted* Ji iind nor a system 
of bfood-tks/’ |ft In hjoq Kroebcr opposed Morgan's sociological theory 
with a psychological theory i |S kinship terms were conceptual derices 
for classifying people and relationships on the basis of similarities and 
differences such as age, sex, generation, etc. ‘"Terms of relationship re- 
fleet psychology, nor sociology/* Krodicr argued. M Thcy are determined 
primarily by language,.. /’ ■" 

Krocber 1 * psychological theory ha* found few adherents. It was sub¬ 
jected 10 tel ling criticism by W* H. R- Rivm, tl in which Morgan's 
sociological dieoiy wa* given effective support. In 19^4 Krocber again 
opposed the si mu logical inEerpreuriori of kin-hip terms. 22 But this was 
virtually flic last significant instance of opposition; the sociological theoiy 
lias now become firmly t^abliiiEitd and almosi universally accepted. 

General acceptance of the theory that kinship nomenclatures are func- 
tions uf social syitems does n»t mean, however, rEiat cocrdatiorw uf ter- 
mi no logics with various forms of social organisation =rc easily made; were 
this the case the sociological theory would undoubtedly have been e$- 
rablhhcd long (jeforc it was. At the outset, as we have already seen, Mor¬ 
gan thought that it was variation in the form of marriage and the family 
that produced the different kinds of terminologies thar he had discovered 
and collected. Rivers* too. placed great emphasis upon marriage as a de¬ 
terminant, but recognized that social structures such as lineages, dons, and 

Ir Jffchn V McJ*cni»n, Smttft hr Anritnt Ji&fprj-, 1 S 7 &, 

J */£jd.* xivii uf llluI ytfcjL L liable of Ca nt m T i * new ta!. tfittS. 

'‘A. L- Knifbcr. “QjsstfiejEOjy System* of RrlatluoiEijp/* /«muJ af tkt Roy A 
Ami-TvpnLyj’y l -Mi ittsfumr, rol. 19. pip. 77-64+ 19091. 

* tbiii. T |>, *4,. 

“ Kinship umf S&chl Organization^ 19F4, 

51 jV I- fcrfiebcr, L Yurak and Xrigh&iuting !un Terra Symm* Unkm &jr *t 
CaHi&mr 'r ht&fcB&ra m Amtwkin Archasahgj *ru£ Btkndagj, yoL jf, pp ij-«# 



moieties Il.lic au effect upon kinship numcncLifut cs a J J^wte did 

much to demonstrate a done correlation Ik tween elm organization and 
flomcncLiturci of the Dikutt4m|ttois n-peH 2 * TO* wis followed by Else 
author * thesis that nomenclatures of the Crow and Omaha types have 
evolved out of [lakutidrrH|unk systems, and that the [ransfrirnutiuii 
effected by increased influence of dm organization upon the designation 
of relatives as compared with the influence or the family" 

The relationship between kinship nomenclature* and the undertying 
siOCid life and institution* b a much more comp heated affair than it was 
formerly thoughr ta Ur. both by the proponents and the opponent* of ihe 
theon of socm logical determine ion. just as some believed that form 
of marriage, nr dan organization, or both, were sufficient to explain a 
lundiip terminology * so others believed ih=ir they had dealt the sociolog¬ 
ical theory a mortal blow when they showed that correlation he tween 
dun organization and the Dakoti-Irocpiors system was lacking tn some 
instances. Any kinship nomencbtutc is the resultant of a considerable 
number of factors, each of which is a variable. In addition to rules of 
marriage and forms of the family, and in addition to such formal struc¬ 
tures as lineages, clans, and moieties, there arc customs of residence and 
inheritance (hat may affect the designation of relatives. Division of labor 
between the sexes and the rotes of men and women with reference to 
dominance and subordination wirhin a grouping of kind red, as well as 
in society at [urge, may be significant as determinant*. Then there are 
innumerable patterns of behavior* together with their respective attitudes, 
among relatives that must be taken into account. And on top of all this, 
rhe problem of correlation is made mure difficult by a time kg: a social 
force may be operative., but k may not have sufficient time to And 
expression in a kinship terminological usages nr, contrariwise, a termi¬ 
nological usage miiv persist after the social condition that produced it 
has ceased its exist. The problem of correlation is flit ref ore nor as simple 
as it was once thought to be; on the contrary, it is enormously compli¬ 
cated. and the wonder is tlui so many correlations liave alrcadv been made. 
Only competent And sophisticated statistical techniques arc capable of 
coping wifb the problem Murdock has made a notable contribution in 
tliis respec^ 30 and l ul l her studies of this son will undoubtedly he made 
in the future, 

* Riven, op. m_, pp. 

11 R- H Lewie, u Exogtmy siiJ the Qaradicaiory System of RdatuMuhipr Amenf-m 
Amkrefwlfrxut, ml 17. pp, mf* 

* I Qiiie A. White, "A Fmblnci in lonilup 1 ecminology^ Ammten Anibraptrioptf* 

4 *» fp- s&i~$ 7 h mb 

* Murdock* rif T especially chap. 7, 

r 34 primitive CUWJU 

Some student* believe that kinship system diffuse readily from one 
Bribe to another. If this were die case, still one more difficulty would be 
added to those already enumerated with regard to correlations. In some 
instances rhetc b evidence to indicate tlint the kinship system oi one 
tribe has been in fine need or affected by that of a nog libn ring tribe; in 
some cases actual kinship terms have been borrowed But the theory of 
diffusion of kinship systems, in general* encounters many ijifficulties. 
Why would a tribe wish to borrow the kiiuhtp systent of a neighbor? 
Or precisely how can the kinship system of one tribe exert influence 
upon that of another? Could a rrit 4 borrow a system nf numenckturt 
chat wa* incompatible with its own social system? It comprihility is 
essential, could it not develop its own system? If there were no rhyme 
or reason to the borrowing* then of course correlations between termi¬ 
nologies and social organization would be impossible, But the b no-rhyme- 
or-rasciT view is incompatible with □ scientific view of natural phe¬ 
nomena, The diffusion of kinship systems has often been postulated as 
an cosy way of explaining distributions. But distributions may be explain¬ 
able in other terras* Cng-, ecologicah Until the theory of diffusion is sup- 
porced by more and better evidence than 3 t has had in the pasti it must 
be regarded as a highly tentative, not to say dubious hypothesis. 

Effective supporr of the sociological theory has come from studies of 
changes chat have taken place in kinship system* since Morgan s Systems 
wax published in 1873. Eggan has shown, for example, dot the kinship 
termioology of the Choctaw $ has undergone a number of changes since 
Morgan's day, and he has been able to explain why rlioe changes have 
taken place in terms of dining ing social con did oils occasioned primarily 
by the influence of the United Ssates government and the conditions of 
reservation life , 21 Spodvr and other* have made similar srmtiei. ^ 

Evolutivn of kinship systems. The science of kinship was established 
upon an evolutionist basis at the very outset by its founder, Morgan. 
According to his theory* kinship systems evolved as concomitants and as 
functions of evolving forms of the family. Rivers accepted .Morgan $ 
evolutionary hypothesis* bur suggested that rite sequence of systems be 
changed. Then came the wholesale rejection of evolutionist theories A* 
applied to culture* and this of course did away with the theory that kin¬ 
ship systems have evolved. In a relatively recent work f Murdock slates 
that his exhaustive study of ifo societies rends to &how chat "there is no 

'Pred l c^h. “MiHoricsJ Oismpes in The Oioctav Kmsbip Sy&wr Amtric^ 
Ambraptilvxin, vol. wt* . _ Ui , 

* Alexander SfMiehr. "Changing Kinship Systems" Qiltidgc Natural uisiory 
«um, Awbtvpofagical Jimo, vuL ij, no. 4, 1^47. Oilier frudtex, w* rauirt*?^ tl? 
cjtc here. Kjfc bero mule in mom recent yean. 


( I5 

inevitable Sequence of social forms nor any necessary association between 
particular rules of residence or descent or particular types of kin groups 
or kinship terms and levels of culture, types of economy, or forms of 
government nr class structure," ** Tim statement is nude, incidentally , in a 
chapter entitled 'Evolution of Social Organization. hl 

Morgan's theory of the evolution of the various forms of tile family 
and their ctmcomitaitr systems of kinship has been obsolete for decades 
And no one since Im day I to* been able to work out and establish a valid 
theory of the evolution of kinship systems. But thh does not mean that 
no evolution has taken place in this sector of culture. Certainly, if culture 
as a whole has evolved, kimhip systems have partaken of this develop¬ 
ment* Or if kinship nomenclatures are functions of social systems* and if 
social system* have evolved* then kinship svsten^ muse have evolved 
along with them. In short, if evolutionist theory is applicable to culture 
as a whole, it certainly b relevant to kinship systems. 

The difficulty here is probably like the diflkulty encountered in esfah- 
Ihhing rise sociological theory of kinship terms: the problem b too com¬ 
plicated to be solved by a simple one-to-one correlation 2s Morgan 
supposed, i.e., between a form of t he family and a type of terminology. 
As a matter of fact, experience with Morgan^ theories lists nude it fairly 
dear that one cannot properly speak of the evolution of the human family 
ar all, for the simple renoon that the family cannot be treated as nn inde¬ 
pendent and nutonomous system; it is an integral part of a larger unit, 
the society, and must be (reared ns such* Wt should not, therefore* try 
to correlate ^rqucnces 0/ kinship systems with forms of the family, but 
with the evolution of societies as wholes. No nnq in recent years lias 
undertaken to do this, as far as wc know, except for one student, Gertrude 
Evelyn Dole.** Mbs Dole correlated six rvpcs of terminology" with a like 
number of types of kinship structure: three other types of terminology 
were produced by umisual conditions affecting some of her six types of 
kinship structure. Stic concluded that +, pattcrns of kinship nomenclature 
were.. .correlated in a general w F ay with the development of subsistence 
techniques and with levels of complexity in social orgamsirinn . 1 ' 711 

Dole's study is a thorough and painstaking one. It ha$ been published 
thus far (1 gj7) only in microfilm for the Library of Congress Considered 
judgment of her findings will have to wait upon a critical examination of 
her monograph by competent scholars, and this will take rime. We be¬ 
lieve, however, that even though some of her conclusions should prove 
to be untenable in detail her over-all thesis is sound, arid that at is along 

^ Murdock, df., p, 

■ Her ductonl &ima*lkxt+ Tht Dev*tepr»*m of Vsittrm of KtmLip Ntmiertfij- 
rare, embraces khik noancncheure^ 

* ibid^ absrrjcr, p, a. 


the general line* that she has indicated that a valid and iluminating theory 
of development wilt eventually be worked out. 

Th* e}amficxr#ry system of rdmonshlp, As wc have already seen, 
.Morgan deified all kinship system* into rwn major groups: ckssifkmmy 
and descriptive systems {Figures 6-4 -* n d These tcrtisi have been 

much criticised and widely jiiisunderstorKl, With regard to the latter, ii 
hzi* been argued iliiti nyr system, which Morgan placed in rite descriptive 

Figure The cliisificatory s^fctii (Sencca-kocjuoish 


category, i$ really dassiheatory, because words like a cottsm +l embrace 
more than one kind of relationship. Needless to say, Morgan was aware 
of this, but this is tine whit he meant by class EficttOfy* He makes it per¬ 
fectly clear in Systems chat only those terms that include more than one 
kind of genealogical relationship are ck_sdheitory. For example, when 
fa slier, father's sisters son, and father's sister's daughter's son are called 
"father*" then the term U dafisiEcatoty. Bur "cousin" designates but one 
kind of gcnedogicj] relationship, namely* parents Sibling** child, and is 

Figure 6- j. The descriptive system (EnglUh), 


therefore a descriptive term. With regard to criticism of die term K dax- 
rificatory" itself. RaddifFc-Brown has remarked? M Dmtbctes it is not the 
ideal word; bur it lias long been in use and no better one has been sug¬ 
gested, though others have been pur forward." 1 m 

Jtwt os Morgan deified all systems of relationship into mo categories, 
so did he clarify social systems into two major types: primitive society 
organised upon the basis of kinship, which he called iwietas, and civil 
society founded upon property reJhtEons and territorial dbunetiems, which 
he colled cfaius.** Finally, he correlated dasrificatory systems of rtbrioa- 
ship< with primitive society and the descriptive systems with modem 
civil society. This correlation is not wholly valid, although in the rutin Et 
\$ + Some primitive peoples have kinship systems that art not chssificdtory 
at all or are $o only to a limited extent, All systems among civil societies 
art descriptive, however, and certainly class! flea tory systems arc char¬ 
acteristic of the majority of primitive societies. The transition from 
ckssificatory systems to descriptive systems was a concomitant and a 
function of the transition from primitive, tribd society to civil society 
and was therefore an evolutionary sequence* Hut it is not this evolutionary 
aspect of kinship systems tiiat interests us here, ft is the dassificatory 
system itself. The classifiestory system of relationship was closely cor¬ 
related with the social Organization and life of most primitive peoples, 
and an understanding of it will illuminate and make more intelligible the 
baric processes of primitive society* namely * those of kinship. 

The class! fkarory system of relationsEiip is characterized by two baric 
featured h) it merges culluictal ami lineal kindred cemunolngically U 
certain points; and (*) it contains only primary terms. With regard to 
the first, we have such examples as calling father's brother, father's sister s 
son, and father's sister s daughter’s son ^father/' ur designating pantile! 
cousins by sibling term . It is this charseteristic that Morgan called 
rificat&ry: a number of different kinds of genealogical relationship were 
classed together. With regard to rise second characteristic, there are no 
terms like our "second cousin” or "great grandfather" in the clasritiearory 
systems. Every relative, Lr., every person desigmued by a kinship term* 
is therefore a close relative, a relative of the first degree, from the stand¬ 
point of behavior and am rude in social imcrcoime, even thought genea¬ 
logically speaking, he may he a sixteenth cousin 

The class! fieatory system of relationship expresses in m doqutnr wtfjf 
the kinship nature and ha.ris of primitive society. Ir k a wonderfully 
ingenious mechanism. It ts ac once borii a self-ex ponding and a self-en¬ 
closing system. On die one hand, it operates so a* to increase the size of 

p A. R, Raddiflr-Broun, "The 'Study «f Kinship System*" fimmal &f tbt ft&jd 
Amhrtip&Ia%kwt Imiiimr, vol- ?!. p. ? p ip^i. 

“Lewd IL Morgan* Aneiem Society, 1677. pp. £-7. 


13 <> 

the mutual-aid group, and un The other, it effectively promote solidarity 
among the members of the group. To short, it is a means of serving the 
exog-jmnus and endogenous processes of society at the same time. Let 
us sec specifically how this is accomplished, 

Mv father’s brothers arc my ''fathers/' anti their children are my 
‘'brothers" and "sisters." But mjr father will call his male parallel coasms 
"brother.” which means that they ate also my “fathers" and their children 
are mV ‘'brothers” and “sisters/’ Mf father's par alt cl cousin* extend m- 
delinhdv from his own line of descent in degrees which we can desig¬ 
nate with cardinal numbers, i T i, J, etc., and all these male cousins ate 
my "fathers.'' and their children my “brothers" and ■ Went, i he ^ llc 

rciyirtinu will apply ro tnV mother, to her sister, her female parallel ecus- 
te, whSn .he dill crfl W mi I will <4 “nwfct." «■ »*« 
npKdve dliWrtn, ,It o( whom I cil "hraihtr jnd wmt. Tiiw 
I will hjvt "fattest 3rtd "siMmgs," emending mmvard mdcnmtety 
otic tide <if my owe line of descent; and ^tnorhctV' and "siblings, mi tlic 
other. The extent to which they may be recognized and become vignjr- 
icant in soda! life depends, of course, upon various condition and cir¬ 
cumstances, sueh as rize of band or local group, aze of mbe. place of 
residence, mode of life, and so on. The rmfemj, however, m pnmmvc 
societies with the c&srificarory system of nomenclature is to extend me 
bonds of relationship until die boundaries of die tribe are reached. In 
this wav every individual will become related, in a way that is significant 
in the social life, to every other individual in the mbe. In short, the opera¬ 
tion of the classficacory system tends to organize ail individuals in the 
tribe into a Single network of relatives. “The use of the terms 
ship,-' says Rnddiffe-Brown, **ii so extended is to embrace all persons 
who come into social contact with one another, if we ta c my singe 
member of the mbe, then every person with whom he has 
dealings whatever stands to him in one or other of 1 x rc ations 
by the temns in use and may be addressed by that term In thn wy ttx 
xskolt society farms z body of retitivts (italics. '.tipplic L 

The dassificitory system thus operates to produce the maxi"|™ „ _ 
uf cooperating group possible within the tribe, namely. ' ' e cn ’ r 
itself. 5 cooperation is an advantage in the struggle for survival and if 
size of group is art advantage in this competitive srrugg c. 1 tn . 
sificatorv svston of kinship and nomenclature admira p y iCr ' , | s 11 1 ‘ 

ends, ft organizes individuals for cooperative endeavor, aid tt tends J> 
increase die size of the group until it reaches the limits of tribal bmuid- 

But if, on the one hand, the dasaficHory system serves the process of 

"A. R. Radcliffe-Bro^,. -Three Tribe of We«m Au^u." founul of tbt 
Amhrfipafogictl voL +J, p 

140 primitive cuLrr/ih 

ncogomy by «tending rhe ties of kinship indefinitely on all sides, ii serves 
the ttldogiimous prc.Cfc>s P *>n the other, by csmblMd% close and powerful 
siiciciJ h*>nds between fditives genttlcgfcaDy remote, Although the cks- 
vffictfaty system k # device for rsrending kinship ri t% indefinitely and 
to great distances measured genealogically, if is also a way of mjklng 
the sorhi ties thus established dose and intense. Thus, the classificatorv 
system reaches nut co my father's parallel cousin's parallel Housing parallel 
cousin—aU males, in this instance* But when it has finally reached him it 
brings- him very close to me: it mikes him wiy firmer. There arc ru> terms 
suefi as "second 1 ' or "third" cousin in dm^fienfory Systems. As the system 
operates* no one, no matter how remote geo illogical] y he may be p can 
be more remote soriologically than & “ctHiaiti*" “luide," “niece,” or 
“grandparent," w Thus the cksificattiiy system not only 0|ieraies to pro¬ 
vide one with an indefinite number of relatives; it makes cadi one of them 
r c/orc relative. Solidarity of the group is premiered as the she b increased 
BuC kinship may gu beyond the boundaries of t trilk:; it may serve as 
tlie basis of irctertnba] rcLitiuns a* well. All five of rhe IroqiiofdJl tribes 
composing the famous League had three clans in common, and other 
dans were shared by two or more tribes* Members of the Bear, Wolf, 
and Turtle clans iti the Seneca tribe had fellow clansmen in the Cayuga, 
Qnondaga T Oneida, and Mohawk tribes. All Iro^unbn tribes were re¬ 
garded, therefore* as related to one another. 

The League of the frtxjuob, itself, an intertribal political organization, 
was based upon kind tip ric^. f he confederacy was governed by a council 
of fifty chiefs chosen from the several iribii. Bm each cfefcfouoajup be¬ 
longed nut merely tn a tnlie, ttur even to a moiety or clan nf rhe Tritie; it 
belonged to a certain marrihncal lineage, When a League chief died* the 
matron of hi* lineage would sdect, with rhe advice or consent of other 
members nf the lineage* his successor from the male members of the 
lineage. In practice, the successor was usually a younger brother of the 
decked chief or a son of one of fib sisters. The candidate selected by 
the matron jnd other members of the lineage was then subject to the 
approval or disapproval of the clan, moiety, and tribe, tn succession, be¬ 
fore being presented for installation by the League council. Thus \vc 
iuve the remarkable example of a supertrihd ptijftjcal structure whose 
mots extended down inro the subsoil of inrimaie kinship ties. They ran 
frnni the League council down through die tribe, the mofctv, the dan, and 
Lineage 10 family fireside* 

I he concept of kinship in primitive culture rimy extend even be vend 
the boundaries of humen society; it can embrace pfanr and animal spedes, 
and even inanimate phenomena, in toremic systems in aboriginal Aus- 

" Ct Slor $*°+ $F*™* vf Cvttiwgumity anJ Affinity of the Hum<m Family. il 7 i t 
pp- * 47 + ™ 



tralia certain plants, bird*. ,ind animals are loiemic ancestors find certain 
typographic features arc intimately associated with rile rotemic system. 
Among North American Endian tribes, the hear may be "father" or 
“grandfather' 1 - the spider, “grandmother." The sun is commonly “father* 
or “sun youth. 11, and the earth b usually "our mother . 0 Just as persons 
with whom one has friend fy social relations ire, or most be* one's relatives, 
so plaiiK mid animals and inanimate natural phenomena arc incorporated 
into rhe sods! systems of primitive peoples. It would hardly be an exag¬ 
geration ro say that kinship is the connective tissue of the world dm 
proliferate peoples live in. 

The Agricultural Revolution transformed primitive sodetv, based 
upon kinship, into civil society, founded upon property relations and 
territorial organization. Qais structure and class division replace lineage 
and chili competition and conflict take rhe place of mutual aid. From the 
standpoint of the needs and satisfactions of human beings. rids tmnsfurrna- 
tion meant a great loss: the loss of lrinship p vriiich, as Tylor pointed out. 
means ‘"kindliness" and mutual aid. This trans/orinarion of social organ¬ 
ization finds expression in kinsiiip terminology, namely, in i change from 
dassificatory lystenis to descriptive systems. The new type of termi¬ 
nology dots not seek to keep svnd Contain relatives within t fixed and 
definite boundin' i* rhe old chssificjtory systems did 1 Figures 6-4 end 
fi-j). hut, on rite contrary, deliberalely allows them to become dispersed 
and lost sight of. 

Rut with the advent of civil society, the memory of primitive kinship 
was preserved , 1+1 and [he new' sociocultural systems often cast their various 
organization* into the image nf kinship, if nor it$ substance. Members of 
medieval guilds were "brothers 0 to one another, The church wii ■ organ¬ 
ized in terms of kinvhrp: rhe pope, U pjpa ? ar rhe head, with "fathers / 1 
“mothers , 11 "brothers," and “sisters" among the clergy* end congregation!. 
Even the gods were organized into a Holy Family. Sestet societies and 
lodges multiply and proliferate as "fmemal" orders, l-abcr unions think 
of themselves as fraternal nrganiyjianns; there are "brotherhoods" of rail¬ 
way trainmen. Universities become “our mothers , 0 and ones nation is 
always a mother country 1 or a fatherland. 

Kinship was both pervasive and precious in pnmmve society. When 
it was lost, as a baas of social organization, in the cultures produced by 
the Agricultural Revolution, an attempt was made to create as much of 
society as possible in rhe image of kinship. 

■ Legend* of the "Goidca Agt' h might cpnrdvabSv dink mmn™ of 1 dme 

and of j sudery wb*u all men were brothen. 


All societies of living beings are firms* organic whole?composed of inter¬ 
related parts. They thus present themselves to nut observation under IWO 
aspects structural and functional On the one hand. we may study social 
systems from the standpoint of the kind or kinds of parts of which the 
whole is composed and un the other, we nsiy focus our attention ttp off 
the interrelationship of these parts* upon the relationship of one part to 
another and to the whole. Structure and function are therefore merely 
two wap of louking at a single phenomenon, namely* a system, or organ¬ 

The problems of the social scientist in general and of the ctiltutologist 
in particular do not differ in nature from chose of scientists in the physical 
and biological realms. The basic problems of all science arc those of struc¬ 
ture and function, of differentiation and integration* The astronomers 
objective b to discover the structure of the cosmos, galaxies* star clusters, 
and the stir* and co interpret thdr behavior. The physicist is concerned 
with the structure of the atom and the interrelationship of its parts. 1 he 
biologist wants co know bow living beings arc constructed and how they 
behave. like hb feliow scientists iti oilier fields, the culiurobgist analyzes 
the structures of cultures in general and of social systems in particular 
and interprets their behavior. Our immediate interest now is in the struc¬ 
ture and function of human social systems, We want to know bow they 
are constructed, of what kind or kinds uf pins They .\rc composed* and 
how these pans are put together and held together fo form an integrated 
w hole. In short* wt shall view social systems from the standpoinc of dif¬ 
ferentiation of structure and specialization of function, on the one lund, 
and of inrcgrarion on the other; os parts and sts vhetes. 

By social tyncm we mean the whole network of relationships among 
the individuals of a distinguishable group. We shall analyze human social 
systems in three kinds of structures; segments, classes, and special median- 

sihlcturEl Foxcrnotfs, Fvotimt)^ of human social systems ■ 4J 

isms. By segment we menu nne of an indefinite number of parrs. compris¬ 
ing a whole in which nne part is tike another in structure. or composition* 
and function. A family u thus a augment. Society as a whole is divisible 
into families, and otic family is genetically like another. in any {riven 
system, in structure sin d function, lineages, clans. and moieties also are 
segments. The process of segmentation may express itself in other forms 
also, as w e shall see later, A class, as we shall use this term* is oiw of 
an indefinite number of pim into which a society as a whole is divided, 
id which one class differs from another in composition or structure, and 
function. Thus* men and women, or males and females, coEtstitufc social 
classes. Society as a whole may he divided into two classes according to 
scx t male and female, and the classes differ in their composition ,ind 
function. The married* unmarried, and widowed constitute so many clas¬ 
ses, So aLso do adults and children. 

All human societies ire thus composed of, nr divisible into. both seg¬ 
ments and classes. Classes and segments are alike in that each is a sub¬ 
division of the system as a w hole; all of a given society is subdivided into an 
indefinite but aliquot number of pans, in the one case segments* in the 
other, dosses. To put this statement is reverse* the sum of the segments 
or classes is precisely equal to the system as a whole- Classes and segments 
differ from each other as Had* of smicturcs in that one segment is like 
another, but each da** is unlike alt others. 

By die term Special TTtechamjTts 1 in our consideration nf social mor¬ 
phology* mc mean a structure distinguishable within rhe system as a 
whole but which is not one nf a class of structures into which rhe entire 
society mav be subdivided* A chief, shaman, or secret society ts such a 
structure, We do not dunk of society as a whole being subdivided into 
speciil mechanisms. as we do segments ox classes Rather, we see 3 fspceul 
mechanism merely x* a distinguishable structure with a specialized func¬ 
tion within b social system. As a matter nf fact, a society may have no 
special mechanisms ar all, ns we define this renn. Some primitive societies 
such as the Tasmanian*, certain pygmy and Eskimo groups* and others* 
come very close to being without internal structiircs sufficiendy differ¬ 
entiated to warmer the use of this term* 1 bey arc virtually without po¬ 
litical chiefs or specialized shamans; they have only class** and segments. 
A special mechanism, therefore, is n differem kind of 3 parr of the social 
whole from a segmenr or a class. The latter are general structures^ their 
sum ts totality of social system. Special media nisms ate always k-s than 

1 We w rw urisned with thu term but cars think of none better. By “mpchnniftti* 
we xtifjui 3 struct tire That draft Mmeddng u a hart that pump* blood. By l ''pa»r 
wx mein nor general, tvf coevtensavc wirfi syktttt TFiua* i iyfuem of rtlu^ u 

a general meehaninri of McbJ c«nUol; it n aruemniljf ceattTtHve with ^ 
ton. A chief, however, b i ipedil facial medwiimi of inregrtuen uid comL 


the whole. A chus or a segment is a part of a whole; an organ is a prt 
distinguished within the whole. A society may, a* we have just noted, 
have no specialized structure^ or mechanisms, at all; or it may have j 
number of kinds of sudi structures, and it may have more than one nf 
och kind. Chiefs shamans, priests, polk*, secret societies, and so on, are 
so many kinds of special mechanisms. 

Oar tasks are therefore (i) to distinguish, define, and classify types 
of social structure*; {;) to discover the way hi which each part is related 
to others and how all are integrated imo a coherent whole; and (j) 10 
trace the course of social evolution in both its aspects* structural and func¬ 

The first human social systems were, as we Have seen earlier, Jocal 
territorial groups* each of which was composed of families. These two 
forms of social organisation, local group and family, Mere inherited from 
man's subhuman ancestors. At the very outset of human history, therefore, 
we distinguish but One kind of segment, namely, families within the 
local group or band. Mole and female* mature and immature, mated and 
unmated, arc dlstijigirishiblle social classes. No special mechanisms ore 
to be dbtuigiiuhnJ at all unless an outstanding individual, a leader, of 
the local group or band may be so distinguished and designated. We now 
wish to trace the development of human society from the standpoint of 
structure and function and from its starting point on the anthropoid level- 

We hive seen in an earlier chapter how anthropoid society was trans- 
formed info human society. Families were organized into a network of 
ties of consanguinity and affinity. This network, or kinship system, was 
defined by relationship ttfrot and regulated by a set of rules and sanc¬ 
tions, We have seen how the processes of exogamy and endogamy oper¬ 
ated as means of relating pare to part and of integrating ports into a co¬ 
herent whole. We now wish to inquire further into the process of struc¬ 
ture] differentiation ami functional specialization as culture evolves as a 
consequence of increased control over the forces of nature by tcdioolog- 
ical means. 

In Chapter a, 'Fncrgy and Tools," we noted that a dose relationship 
obtains between degree of organization ind concentration nf energy. As 
matter becomes less organized as energy becomes more diffuse, so con¬ 
versely; the degree of o t g amMUO fi of a system increases as the concentra¬ 
tion nf energy- within the system Increases, Social systems are hue the 
social form of expression of technological contra) over the forces of 
nature. Social evolution is therefore a function of technological develop- 
ment. Social systems evolve as the amount nf energy harnessed per capita 
per year increases* other factors remaining constant. This is to say. they 
become more differentiated smicmraJ!y p mure specialized functionally, 
and as a consequence of differentiation and specialization, speck! media- 

cthlctt t bi% WNcnems, KwnumoN or human social systems ?4J 

nisnis of integration and regulation arc developed. Thus human social ev¬ 
olution becomes intelligible in terms of entropy, in ttn» nf a corollary 
of (he second law of thermodynamics: the degree of vrgmrsMten of j 
lynem is proportional to the etmceutntion of energy within the ijsteti). 
Vve may thus view social evolution against the background of a principle 
fundamental in nature and cosmic in scope. 


The phenomenon of segmentation is closely related to another, namely, 
Integra [ion, A segment is. in fact, a mechanism of integration; a segment 
is a pan, and part implies a whole. Segmentation, as a process, is a means 
Of increasing the size of systems while preserving at the same time a 
high degree of inner cohesion or solidarity. As we noted in our discus¬ 
sion of endogamy and tsoganiy, the solidarity of a social group tends 
to diminish is the size of the group increases. If advantage is ro continue 
to accrue from increase in size, a way must be found to maintain solidarity 
at a high level. We saw how the hws of endogamy and exogamy operate 
to balance size and solidarity of group in such a way a* to aciiieve min¬ 
imum effectiveness of group endeavor. We now sec how the process of 
segmentation operates to do the same thing. It makes possible an increase 
inTjizc; nn system. physical, biological, or social can increase its size be¬ 
yond a certain point w ithout resort to wgmentaium. By means of the 
segment! vc proee^ any type «>f system iiwy enlarged, tor nor onJ) is 
an incrciM nude possible by the integration of one class of segments on 
one level, but the segments of one level may Iwcotnc integrated into units 
that constitute segments of a higher level of organization, and so on in¬ 
definitely. But at the same rime that the process of segmentation operates 
to increase the size of die system, it function) to nuinrain irs inner co¬ 
hesion or solidarity- The segments remain small even though the system 
grows large, and within the segment a high degree of cohesion or Mill • 
ity may be preserved. Secondly, integration takes place between segment 
just os among the elements comprising the segments; the segmentise proc¬ 
ess is imersegnicntol as well us inttBegmcural- The pronto of segmenta¬ 
tion is Unis a marvelously ingenious w ay of uniting two opposite prin¬ 
ciples or Tendencies into a harmonious and balanced synthesis; unity and 
plurality, discreteness and synthesis, size and solidarity. 

Frwii the foregoing it is obvious that the segment!vc process is closely 
related to that of evolution. Evolution is made possible or brought about 
by establishing new base* of integration on successively higher levels. 

■"Tic growth of iepwntary Hiueture* U ■ constant fewy* of 
mqit, *std jt «Htw that ccroin form* of structure can onl) ft* 
perttujinnee by tfixT rocuaT A- ft HatklitPf iJ TIie Social 
Australian TritpO^ 0™*^ vul. uf*- 4* f 1 - tpl 1 * 

social ijevdop- 
eh nab Hire mi 
QrgmiZlSX) of 

14 <S PRIMITIVE CtrtT^fiE 

This h not the only way in which evolution can cjUcc place, of course. 
It may occur also as a consequence of differentiation of structure and 
specialization of function* htft we shall deal with this later. Out concern 
now is with the relation of segmentation to evolution. 

The process of segmentation is observable everywhere and on all levels 
of organization* physical, biological* and social, A galaxy is a figment 
of the cosmos; a star is a segment of a galaxy. An atom is a segment of 
a molecule, as tile latter is of larger material systems A segment may be 
composed of a number of parts, just os it is one of a number of pnirs of 

1 larger system. Wc now come face to face with a very interesting and 
apparently fundamental principle: any system* whether it be a segment 
Itself or an organization of segments. iu$ a maximum limit of size. Thus 

2 molecule is ii segmented system, as rlic chemist pictures it, the segment 
being atoms. Hue the tize of 3 molecule of a given clcmenr* i,e^ the mint- 
her of its component atoms, cannot lie increased beyond a certain point. 
A molecule of oxygen usually contains wo atoms. It may Irnve three, 
but apparently no more than this. On a higher levd of integration u ( e 
may consider a drop nf mercury, Ii is not a mere aggregation of mol¬ 
ecules* but an organized* segmented system in which the molecules arc 
segments. Bui this system* too* like die molecule «f oxygen, cannot be 
increased in size beyond a certain poinr Tims wc observe two aspects 
of material systems of this son; (i) units tend to combine and form 
integrated systems* but (i) the integrative process cannot form larger and 
larger systems indefinitely; there is a maximum size mid limit for each 
kind of system, These aspects of systems are observable elsewhere abm 
We may suppose that a galaxy is a grouping of star$ that tend to unite 
to form a system. But the size of a stair grouping is limited* just as i* the 
size of the drop of mercury. When rhis limit is reached, a new galaxy 
is formed. We do nor find* therefore* one organization of stars of in¬ 
definite—or infinite—size in the cosmos, hue many systems* like so many 
droplets of water. 

In biological systems also we may observe the limits of the integrative 
process on the basis of segments of a given order. A metazoan system can¬ 
not be increased in size inJefinitely on the basis of segmentation and in¬ 
tegration alone; sooner or later ii readies a point beyond which it would 
fall apart, just as in the case of a molecule of oxygen or a drop of mercury* 
The same is rrur of a colony of unicellular organisms—a segmented sys¬ 
tem in which each tingle-celled organism is a segment. 

Thus* we see that anv given system based upon the integration of seg¬ 
ments cannot lx increased In size beyond a certain point, Bur, and here 
we come to a most important point, systems can be formed by integrat¬ 
ing these anginal maximum-sized systems into a still larger system in 
which the original systems become segments. A molecule of mercury 

sm'CTV&fc. Fl'NCTlONS, EVOLUTION OF «UM social systems 147 

cannot contain mure than a certain number (if atoms, but a larger tuitlti- 
molecular system can be formed in which the molecules become segments. 
A galavy Ins b limit of maiimum size. but galaxies themselves become 
segments of a vupctgaljictic system. Thus we note two important prin* 
cinles- (i) on a given level, the number of units that can be integrated 
into a segment is limited, and therefore the sire of systems on this level 
cannot be increased beyond a certain point; hut (1) 1 yttfjrts on one level 
fnav lie integrated JJ segments of a larger system on a higher level. In 
this way the process of evolution may proceed indefinitely by organiz¬ 
ing the systems of one level into larger systems on -1 higher level. 

\Vc shall now apply these principles to human social organization and 
evolution. A society of human beings is a material system, IF. therefore. 
There be principles .ippiicabte ro material systems in general, as science 
is obliged to assume, they must Ik applicable to human social systems In 
particular. And an mierpmiium of human social organiratjim and ev¬ 
olution in Terms of principles cosmic in scope must lie more fundamental 
and significant than an interpretation limited to human society trseli. He 
mav demonstrate the relationship of segmentarion to integration, and the 
roles of both in social evolution, with the example of military organization. 

An army is a liighly developed form (if a segmented social system. U 
is, in fact, a pyramid composed of strata of segments, the units of one 
level becoming segments of the units on the nest higher level. On the 
lowest level of organization arc the individual soldiers, or units. They be 
come segments of units called squads, which in turn become segments 
of units called platoons, which in turn become segments of companies, 
and so on through battalions, regiments, and divisions, to armies, A num¬ 
ber of armies may then Ik integrated into a superarmy, or fighting force, 
of a nation under a single command. And the military forces of a number 
of allied nations may be integrated under a joint staff. 

Why is an army organized in ibis way? Why not have just one large 
aggrcgurion of men, a horde without differentiation of internal strut* 
time. 5 The answer is, nf course, obvious. An unorganized group of this 
size would fall apart of its own weight, just as a drop of mercury cannot 
exceed the limit of size scr by the cohesive power of its molecule*. The 
haric units of an army are living material panicles called soUwrs. or men. 
Thev attract each other and form groups. They do this because mutual 
aid and security are served thereby. But die force of attraction lictwcen 
one man and another in a group tends to vary- inversely with the num¬ 
ber of men b the group; the more numerous the members, the weaker 
the force of attraction between them. The solidarity of ft group, and 
with it its effectiveness for concerted action, diminishes as the number 
of its component individuals increases, A point will eventually be feac led, 
if the size continues to increase, where the group will rend to fall spare 


Of iis own weight; its solidamv and effectiveness will teach ■ v.nkiimp 
point. The number of individual, in a group most be small «™ U gh » 
provide 3 high decree of sdtdsrity if effectiveness of concerted action is 

to be achieved. 

The smallest grouping of an army, Therefore, cannot escccd a certain 
size. It must be small enough so that the attraction between the com- 
ponetir dements, the men, M ill lie strong enough to make the group mill* 
tafilv effective as well as a mere integrated unit. If the military oigaraza- 
tion'is to become larger, the men must Ik further integrated, not on the 
level of individuals, hut upon a higher level, that of ^uads. pbtnons, or 
companies. 5 Further increases in si/e of the military organization arc nc- 
complLihed by successive integrations on higher ami higher levcU- 

We arc. of course, describing an army structurally and functionally, 
not genetically. We arc not saying that in the course of the evolution 
of armies you first had squads, which were put together to foim platoons, 
and these in turn combined to form companies, battalions, regiments, etc., 
as a child might build a pyramid of blocks. Segmentation is a process 
of a system, or organism, and an organism is always a whole, a one. 
Segmentation is a process that goes on within a system; it is not a process 
out of which systems are built by addition and accretion. Military or* 
ganization has evolved with segmentation and increase in going hand 
in hand. Our description of an army as an organism integrated through 
segmentation U not, therefore, an accounr of how it came into being, 
but of how it maintains its being. An army can hold thousands of men 
together became they arc first of all organized into small, highly co~ 
heave groups; then these groups, at groups, art organized into larger 
groups On a, higher level. The number of segments of 1 given class de¬ 
creases as the number of men contained by each segment increases; so that 
dll [much rhe force of attraction between btdhiduak decreases ;ts we go 
up the pyramid of stratified segments, this is compensated for by the 
integration and reintegration of ttgmtuls as we ascend. Tor example, 
two men in different army divisions may he closely related to each other 
through the relationship between divisions since each man is integrated 
and reintegrated with his division many times by his membership in a 
succession of segments: company, battalion, brigade, and regiment, fhe 
two soldiers may thus face each other directly as members of divisions. 

Ecclesiastical organization aim offers an interesting and instructive 
example of integration through segmentation. On ihc lowest stratum 
we have com; relations, unless one distinguishes segments si it bin this 
grouping. Congretjations arc organized into parishes, anil these into 

* \VbffIwr the muJIest rignifiemt nnfr h rfw Mjuad, platoon, nr eampiny is « 
natter «f particular fact nul«r than of general (.henry, in.l therefore is nor getmane 
to our iliiriusiue here. 

structure, rt'NcriaN*, eraunSD or human social systems 149 
bishoprics, archbishoprics, and so on Up to the Churcli, which contains 
them all 

In military and ecclesiastical organizations we see processes af worn 
which haw played an important rote in social evolution: evolution 
through seamen tat ion and integration. We shall now turn to human 
society and observe the operation of these processes in the course of so- 
rial evolution. 

Lxt u 5 again consider the social ofgunization of anthropoids* tf exhibits, 
TWO types of unis, the family and the local group. Families arc segments 
of the local group®. Mere as in physical and chemical systems, we do not 
find our units distributed at r andom, ix„ anthropoids scattered at random 
over the landscape; they tend to group themselves together. We may 
be able to give no better answer to the question, 'Why do stouts of 
oxygen tend to form molecules?” than to say, ‘'It’s 'heir nature to do 
so." Hue we can say* mure than this almut the locial organization of 
anthropoids: they come together to satisfy sexual Lunger, because group 
li/c affords sortie protection to die individual and because the nature and 
distribution of their food permit and encourage group organization. \\ c 
may not know why an atom of a given element has five electrons rather 
than four or six, but we know what determines the size of the anthropoid 
family. We know also what determines the size of the local group 
(Chapter 3), Thus we may observe and understand the phenomena of 
segmentation and integration in die society of man’s immediate sub- 

human ancestors. _ _ , 

In up t discussion of die dtfimriem ant! prohibition of nicest and of 

the operation of the processes of oogamy and endogamy, ww how 
primate social organization was alfecrcd. and human social evolution 
initiated by the emergence arid operation of a new mechanic of 
gmtion, tiamelv*, Articulate speech- Kinship »y^ieti» u ‘ CFr formed by me 
Integra!ion of families as segments. Hut here also we noted tliat a kin¬ 
dlin' system based upon genealogical reckoning alone cannot meres* 
in soe indefinitely and remain effective; evenrually a pint will be readied 
when it will tend to fall 10 pieces. It is here that the process ot segmenta¬ 
tion again becomes significant: the formation of new kinds of segments 
made integration on higher levels possible. We have already seen how 
clans as segments of society, served as mechanisms of integration in the 
Operation of kinship systems. We now wish to consider them in an¬ 
other context, namely, that of the evolution of social structure. We wish 
specifically to «e how dans are formed by the scgmcnnve process, how 
they become segmented in tom, and how dans function as mechanisms 

of irttEgrarion. 

In the previous chapter we noted that kinship was extended outward 

i5o ffUMimi Crarra* 

from the family laicrally and lineally, Recognition nf t and emphasis 
upon, kinship tics dong the lines of ascent and descent raulr in the 
fumutirjti of socially significant groupings that we call UnMRes* We tuny 
diitfngubh two main types of lineages, bilateral, or ambilateral, and uni¬ 
lateral. In groupings of the fonner lype, descent h reckoned in cither 
or both lines, the father's and the mother's* In unilateral groupings, 
decent is reckoned in one line cully* ihc father's, or male, or the mothers, 
or female* line- Wc thus have mo hinds of unilateral lineages, patrilineal 
and nutri lined To illustrate these types of groupings we may die the 
Mwm is .in example of the ambilateral, the Iroquois of the nurrilincah and 
the Omufm as an example of the parnbncaj, type of lineage. In some 
sotiTKtilturaJ systems fined ascent and descent are nor sufficiently tm- 
phased to produce significant Jineairc groupings. 

Uncages ate segments, vertical segments so to speak, as distinguished 
from families which at any given rime arc distributed on □ horizontal 
plane. \\ hethcr a social Mem has lineages nr not, and whether the 
lineage is amhilincal, ptribneal. or matrilincil, k a matter that k de¬ 
termined by the mode of life of the people specifically bv the way in 
which they nourish themselves defend themselves from cheir enemies:, 
and protect themselves from the dements. In oilier words, it is the specific 
techno) ogkal means of adjustment and control in the life-sustaining 
activities of nutrition, defense, and shelter that determine the social or¬ 
ganization of a people in this respect as in others. La us consider uni¬ 
lateral lineage* itrsr. 

A patrilineal lineage is a unilateral grouping of relatives composed of 
a man* his children, and other descendant* in the male line only. A matrt- 
lineal lineage h composed of a unman, her children, and other de¬ 
scendants in the female line only. A society may have an indefinite 
number of unilateral lineages, bur if it recognizes any, it must have at 
least two: one unilateral lineage implies or requires another since ir in¬ 
cludes descendants in tine -tex line only and excludes descendants in the 
other. Some societies recognize only two* in which case we call them 
wwjWicf, This is 3 special kind of unilateral organization, which we shall 
discuss btet. 

Tlie factors’ that lend to produce unilateral lineages are specifically 
numerous and varied. GcncricaUy t however, they may be reduced 10 
three: division of labor between the sexes, exogam y\ anti place of resi¬ 
dence of a couple after marriage. Ghvioudy, this is not to say that 
wherever these factors air found u ruble ml lineage* will be present a lso, 
for 3 division of labor Iwrween rhe sexes, exogamy* and a place of resi¬ 
dence are universal, whereas unilateral lineages are very fir from such 
a distribution, What we wish to say is that unilateral Lin races have 
been formed by the operation of these factor* ami that they have not 


come into being as 3 consequence of other primary factors; hut they 
arc nnt akmys a consequence of division of labor, exogamy, and place of 
residence, !t is only under certain conditions that these factors produce 
unilateral lineages. 

Asa general propositi on we may say that prominence or predominance 
of men in the mode of life of rlie society will tend to produce patrilineal 
Lineages; prominence or predominance of women will lend to form 
TTLatrDineal lineages. Thus a culture in which warfare, hunting, or herding 
is m activity of paramount importance will tend toward patrilineal 
lineages because these occupations tend to be masculine pursuits. In sys¬ 
tems where woman's rule in subsistence, house building, and ownership* 
Or in some handicraft* puts her in a pod don of Considerable importance 
as compared with men in the mode of life, there will be a tendency 
toward matrilmcal lineages, Thc'ic general statements arc sound enough, 
but they could easily be misleading because they tend tu obscure, by llic 
very generality of their nature, the complex organization of numerous 
and diverse factors at work in specific situations. Thus men and women 
both 1 my be food providers. A* Such their roles may I* equal in im¬ 
portance, or one may be more significant than another in degrees, vary¬ 
ing from 1 small amount to a very grcai extent. In 5.tune cultural yy items 
□uc factor may tend to counterbalance another. In some societies, such 
ii some of the Apache tribes, men may derive social importance from 
frequent and critical parricipatinn in warfare, hut women may be quite 
impinimt in guriiering and processing wild plant fond and in the manu¬ 
facture of buckskin and other articles. Among the Eskimo The 11cm fa 
the principal food getter* but the woman is exsemfal in ihc manufacture 
of skin clothing and other important household duties. Among the Iro¬ 
quois, the men were the hunters and wmrkifs* but the women cultivated 
rite garden* and had charge of the houses and custody of stored crop. 
Magical considerations are sometimes import-mr as well as rational, 
technological factors—magic in this respect s$ in others mav he re¬ 
garded as a pseudo technology, fo some Australian rrihc> only men 
rn»y have custody of terrain sacred spots and of objects stored he Those 
places; and only men may perform ceremonies believed to be essential 
to the group's welfare and which arc associated w r ith these sacred places. 
Ihus, if there is ro be unilateral organization* this factor will operate 
powerfully to cast it inro the patrilineal mold. 

We see, then, that the factors relevant to the formation nr absence of 
lineages are numerous and varied. We have various activities of men in 
subsistence. M (Su 5 * Sj. . * *); arid of w omen, also. IF (5i t S a , $3.,. 

Sum Judy, we have their tales in ollcrne and defense, in shelter—House- 
building nnd upkeep, the manufacture and repair of trl aching-—in the 
arts and crafts, such as the ceramic, textile, metallurgical! magical arts. 

ijj mi«mnt cultubp 

anrf so “O. In any cultural amotion a great number of Factor? relative 
to liiirjge formation will thus he operative. Some w ill rend to produce lineages, others tnatrilineal lineages. Whether a society w ill 
Have distinct lineage groupings or nor, and whether the lineages will be 
atnbit.itera! or unilateral, patrilineal or matriimcal, will depend upon 
the integrated summation of all these factors. 

The discovery of correlations between lineage grouping anti the roles 
t.f men uni women in basic technologic activities is furrficr complicated 
|,y this fact: a group whose social system wss shaped by one set of 
tcchnoloeieal and occupational factors ntay change its mode of life 
but preserve its former type of social organization, at least for a ciroc. 
A people can dmngc its mode of lift quickly and abruptly; social sys¬ 
tem* tend to change more slowly. The Crow Indians of 1HS0 were a war¬ 
like, equestrian, hunting people-, these clearaeterimes emphasize the rule 
of the man and tend to elevate him above the woman in social im¬ 
portance. VVc would expect, therefore, to find the Crow with patrilineal 
lineages if they had unilateral groupings of kindred at all But rhey did 
nut; they had mamitnml lineages and clans. A case of this sort appears, 
therefore, ro contradict and refute our theory that predominance of rhe 
male in rhe basic life-sustaining activities tends to produce patrilineal 
groupings. Bin as ir happens, we know- some tiling about the history of 
the Crow. They formerly lived with flic Hi da tea and other agricultural 
village tribes on the upper Missouri River. Under such conditions of life lineages were probably funned as a consequence of promi¬ 
nence of women in horticulture and custody or ownership of house: the 
I Ildars,i were matrilineal and uiatrilocal. Then, after rhe introduction of 
die liorsc and firearms and with increased pressure of white settlers 
ever pusliintj westward, the Crow left their settled habitations and their 
cornfields and moved out into the Great Plains to become roving hunters 
anti Warriors. The roles of [he sues in the mode at life of the tribe were 
profoundly dunged. But die social organisation did not change at once 
and overnight. The older imtrilioeU organization was preserved and 
adapted ro the new vi ay of fife. They have, however, "shifted to patri- 
lucal residence though they still retain rhetr inatri-sibs " ' 

The forma rion of social systems under technologic: d atid txxu patio ml 
influence is a coni plicated process, one in which many factors are at work 
and exerting their influence in opposite or divergent, as well as parallel 
or convergent, directions. And added to tills is the kg of institutional 
change following technological duuige. Only the superficial or naive 
wilt therefore expect or demand easy, simple, one-ttwinc correlations. 

Rut division of labor between the sexes is only one of the significant 

*C- 1 J . Munfock, Social $irtttmrt T The AbtmilUfi Company Nr* 1 Ys^rJi, 

p. toG, 

STRucTtrue, rwcrsttra, cvoluttos or iiumas iocui systems tjj 

factors that produce unilateral lineages; we still hive to consider exogamy 
and place of residence. All three factors work iQgerhcr. 

Incest was invented, so to speak, defined, and prohibited in order to 
make cooperation between family groups compulsory by prohibiting 
marring' within the family. But incest and exogamy involve place of 
residence sis well as consanguinity. A family has a place of residence, and 
therefore if marriage within the family is prohibited, someone, either 
the bride or groom, or both, must change his place of residence at mar¬ 
riage, Custom may require a newly married couple to reside wirh rhe 
family of the groom (pamlocal residence) or with the family of the 
bride (matriloctd residence). Or it may require them to live with rhe 
parents of either the bride OF the groom as they please fambilocal resi¬ 
dence), Or bride and groom may establish their residence apart from 
the homes of the parents of cither one (neolocal residence). The last 
alternative is relatively rare m primitive society; the newly married 
couple usually Jives with the family either of the bride or of the groom. 
Tliis is done for reasons of economy of housing facilities or of mutual 
aid or both. 

IVe may distinguish two kinds of place exogamy, household and da¬ 
rner exogamy. Thus, a person may merely leave his nr her household 
group upon marriage and go to the household of his or her spouse in the 
same village nr locality, such as is the case among the Iroquois or the 
Pueblo Indians. Or one may leave his village or district at marriage and 
go to live tii the village or district of his spouse, as in ihe case of ilie 
patrilocd Aroma or rhe murrilocol Chiricahua Apache. The factors that 
determine place tif residence arc essentially the same it those which 
determine descent in lineages, namely, division of labor between the 
sexes and the relative importance of the roles of men and women in 
the fundamental activities of the group. If the woman plays the lesser 
rule in activities close!v correlated with residence, she will lend to lease 
home at marriage and go to live with her husband at his parents' home. 
If, however, she has a relatively important role, she will tend to remain 
jn her own home after marriage and her husband will leave hb home and 
come to live wirh her. 'Nomadic herding nr prominence of huiiling Of 
warfare in rhe life of a people tends coward patnlocal residence, w hcreas 
ho reculture, or even a considerable dependence upon wild seeds or other 
plant food, gathered by the women, will incline the society- toward 
nutrilocal residence. 

In aboriginal Australia the min has a prominent role m fowl getting. 
Ir is highly desirable for the male hunter to be inrinnudy acquainted with 
the terrain over which he hunts. “A boy begins to acquire this knowl¬ 
edge about ihc country of his own horde from a very early' age. 
Raddiftc-Umwn, ' If he left his ow n country, say at marriage, this know!- 

*54 primitive cut/n;M; 

edge would Imt lose und he wcrald have to start over again to Jtarn aJl 
that lie would he inquired to know about flw country to which lie 
moved. 11 ■ The woman, too. should know where phot food can be found, 
but detailed topographic knowledge is less important in this occupation 
than m hunting. Therefore ir is more desirable from rhe standpoint of 
gruup efficiency for the man to remain in familiar territory than the 
woman. But more important per hap than food getting in Australian 
culture b male supremacy in the pseudo technology of tottfliram* As 
Phyllis Kaijerry has pointed Out, only men can tike care of sacred ob¬ 
jects scored in fixed holy places and perform the necessary cereiuemits 
associated with them.* It is necessary. therefore, for them to remain in 
their own districts, whereas the women are in this respect quite free 
to leave, liras, exogamy plus divudon of Libor between the sexes in 
Australian culture opera ecs rather strongly to bring about patrilocal 
residence and local patrilineal lineages. 

Among the Iroquois the situation is different Here rhe men hunt* fish, 
and fight; the women till the gardens and fields and have important 
household duties. A woman and her daughters own the house which 
their respective families occupy together. They have custody of die 
oops stored in the houses. They prepare the too d and have dwge of 
its distribution,. They thus play n prominent role in subsistence, h would 
be a great inconvenience for a woman to leave at marriage the house and 
its stores that arc part hers- It would also lend to disrupt the economic 
organisation of the hotirfhoEd. Bur ir would be quite easy for the man to 
leaver all he would need to do would be to pack up his few personal 
belongings and move. Here again, exogamy and division of lubor along 
sex lines produce uni lure ml grouping* of kindred, this time, however, in 
the female line. 

Thus we find three important factors, division of tabor along sex lines, 
exogamy, and place of residence, that tend* in certain cultural systems, 
rn produce 8 particular kind of segment: a uni literal grouping of kin¬ 
dred. As we have pointed out earlier, these factor alone and by them¬ 
selves are not sufficient co form disrincr and socially significant unilateral 
lineages; it is only when they are operative in certain contexts, under 
certain circumstances* and to a degree which we have described and il¬ 
lustrated that this result is produced, Secondly, in cultural systems where 
these factors tend to produce unilateral lineages their influence and effect 
vary in degree. Wc may observe merely :i slight tendency toward urti^ 
Literal grouping, or it may be very pronounced. Uncages may or may 
noc be cxoganious. They may or may nor have names. In short, we ob¬ 
serve lineages in varying degrees of development. In their incipient stages 

1 Uukiiffc-Brm»n. vp. dti* p- 4^9. 

* phytlu Aboritfml IV&mtn, pp, 


they ure relatively indistinct slid insignificant. As they grow they become 
more distinct structurally and more significant functionally. VVIttn 1 
unilateral grouping has become a distinct unit, set apart from other like 
groupings by the "customs of exogamy, and distinguished from them by 
a name, then we call it a cbm. A clan is therefore a crystilliiadon, so 
to speak, of the soda! process of segmentation in which exogamy and 
division of labor between die sexes are the significant determining factors, 

Until this crystallization has taken place, he,, until the lineage has 
become an exogamous group distinguished from Other like groups by 
a name, its organization and cohesion depend upon genealogical reckoning 
alone. A person belongs to a lineage and has a definite place in it liecause 
of the specific genealogical connections, between himself and other mem, 
hers of the lineage. After the lineage has become crystallize d into a clan 
with a nanit, however, j knowledge of specific genealogical counterions 
is no longer essential to rbc integrity and inner structure of the group; 
otic may now reckon in terms of group affiliarion rather than genealogical 
connection. Tims, there may lie so many persons in a clan that no one 
may know how a given individual is countered genealogically wtrh 
everyone ci« in the clan. But this does not matter; common clan mem¬ 
bership is sufficient to determine the relationships between them. Accord¬ 
ing to theory, ethnologic as well as native, all members of a clan con¬ 
stitute a single line-age. Hut the clan may be so large that no one can 
know, exactly and with certainly, the genealogical connection between 
the several Ml Mintages. In the absence of complete and precise genealogi¬ 
cal data—a lack due to the alwcncc of written records and to the limita- 
rioiis of man's memory — tlie sublineages of a elm appear as genealogically 
independent groups. The dan name and the law’s of incest and exogamy . 
however, hold these lineages togeihcr and unite them into si coherent 
whole. Tims the clan is a mechanism that makes, in effect, a multi lineage 
group possible. 

VVc have now seen how certain factors and processes segregate one 
group of kindred from another, one unilateral lineage from others- Tins 
process develops by degrees until the lineage become? * distinct and 
Significant structure. Jt is [hen distinguished from other lineages by a 
tnme and by the taws of exogamy. But the evolutionary process which 
brought the disriixs; named, exogamon* lineage into existence 
not stop si this point, Tlunks to the name—and iitdgnis that oUtft yn 
with ilic name—the process of scgmcntsrdon can go fan her, i he chn 
is the culmination of one process of social evolution* hut the hcginnii^ 
of another. Instead of unilateral group of one lineage each, we may nou 
have a unit, the dun, composed of a number of lineage*, among which 
genealogical connections are nut distinguishable. A ne^ level of frtgmctin- 
tjon md Lnfcgrarion has heen reached, Heretofore, lineages Itavc been 


sccfmcnts of society as a whole; after tlw level of named cLans lias been 
reached, Uncage* become segments of darts, and diets in turn become 
segments of the social whole. Oils process of segmentation by means of 
unilateral reckoning of descent can gp» even t aether, Among the Hopi 
Pueblos, for example* die tribe is divided tnm a number of exogamnuv, 
mamlincal kinship groups. Each, or most, of these groups are composed 
of a number—two. three, four, or so—of njrucd groups that tire also 
matrilineal and of course exogarnous. At Oraihh one of the larger 
cko garnets groups is made up of Sand, Snake, and lizard subgroups 
another is composed of Rabbit, KaeMna, Parrot, and Gow subgroups, 
arid so on. The larger group itself has no name of its own; it may be, 
and commonly h w referred to by the name of one or another of the named 
subgroups of which it is composed. 7 [Jut these named subgroups may 
be so krirc as to have lineages whose genealogical connections with One 
smother are not distinguishable. We have here three levels of segmenta¬ 
tion; lineages based upon specific genealogical connection, named groups 
composed of these lineages, and* thirdly, exesgamous groupings of these 
named groups. 

Whether among these Hopi tribes, one calls the named exogamous 
groups clan*. and the exogamotis groupings of them pliratriesi Of whether 
the larger etogamUUS group lie called a dan and the named groups sub- 
dam, or lineages, h a terminolr^ical problem to a certain extern, but nor 
wholly; t lie question of developmental sequence i* involved also. Some 
students have hdd timt a grouping sudi as Santl-Snal« -Lizard was formed 
by the subdivision nr tegmenta lion of an cxogamaiis group (chin), in 
which civc tht lineages id Sand, Snake, and Lizard would be subdam. 
Others,* however, believe that Sand, Snake, and lizard were once inde- 
pendent dim that combined to form a phratry. Wc would hold that 
Sand, Snake, and Lizard -ire subdans formed by the process ol segmen¬ 
tation; we would nor know Faow to explain why independent clan* would 
combine co form a phrnry. 

Oan organization is a means of enlarging the sire of the cooperative 
group md" of fostering solidarity at one and The same time* li achieves 
the former by extending the range of genealogical reckoning by ^up- 
piemen ting known genealogical connections with those merely assumed l 
s,e TS a person is a “father'* ora “brother 1 ' to me not because of genealogical 
connections which l can trace, but because he is a member of the same 
named exogenous group — the same dan —that t belong to. The coopera¬ 
tive group is now + composed of person# whose genealogical relations 

’ Authcjf 1 . ficM rn yr r - i. ifl}:. See also R It, Louie. "NTntts on Hopi Ciin#, n .iwWrtfw 
Mmarrn of Nmurd History, /fur Imp&tegjkd Fj prrr, rnl. j<i F pr. 6, pp. jjlff- ■V 1 * 

* K- H. Lon ft. for example* '‘SodJ Orgimrjtir^n," in EntyHopoidiM of tht S^rUi 
SekffiW, w*L 14, 1^4* p* m* 


wtili one another need be merely assumed, not definitely known. Can 
otrauization promotes solidarity by treating Individuals who are so re¬ 
motely related to me that 1 do'not know the genealogical connection as 
if they were so dose that lhe genealogical relationship would be known, 
Can organization, disc the cbtssificMory system of terminology, «<**“ 
the radius, or scope, of kinship, on the one hand, and intensifies social reh- 
tiunships among individuals on the other, 

dans often cinptov titmkinship devices to implement them function as 
imprrative mechanism* Each elan may have certain amdes of sicred 
mraphernatia such as fetishes, altars, or other instruments or mens*. 
These, together with rituals, establish and reinforce common sentiments 
among dan members, insignia, face paintings, house and property marks 
also serve the same end. A clan may have a n ancestral bouse or spot as 
a point of integration. Clans may own a set of names for the exclusive 
use of its members. They may also own fields or other teal property *uc i 
as burial grounds. A clan is thus more than a mere kinship group; it nwy 
be a ceremonial and economic group os wdL Or perhaps it won * ie 
more accurate to say that clans promote solidarity mo t reel v t iiooj. 
ccjremonml and economic contexts, Hi well ^ directh 111 c o 

So effective and important have clans been as means of fostering so¬ 
cial solidarity that we have come to call a people or a group t, iirMir > i 
thev have a high degree of social integration and cohesion; Mum host 
h a Dorsetshire man; and with a pardonable clannishness. Ill< imported 
a little colony from Ids country *; or, ‘The clannish spirit of ptovinctal 
literature" f Coleridge)- 1 

Clans do more than integrate a number of lineages ®rf indis id«.* 
i compact, close-knit group; they serve also 3ls * m “ m Jllt ? “ '** 
tribal integration, in a tribe of five hundred persons there might U « v 
hundred families, twenty-five ecntalogicdly distinguishable linages. ™ 
five named, ccogamotts dam. Tribal solidarity' may dtcrefote bermrcreJ 
on 4 Gttpra individual, suprafamilial, supra! in cage, t.c., upon a i an, 
the tribe h composed of five compel, closely kmt groups mstcat of 
numerous lineages and still more numerous families. Cbm arpituaimn 
provides a basis for intertribal solidarity -ho: the hvc tn ^ ™ 
Inujwihn confederacy shared clans m common and were r icrc o 

"sirirsssffit -—**** *■ - 

Each clan mw acquire a special timctiun, ceremonij or ot c _ 
exercise of which b regarded as essential t<t the corninon v*c a - - 
dan thus becomes necessary to all the f£*t, 101111 to S c 

*Cf* -Sfcir *tlinnkh+ H * h A K« f "» HtmlM Fn»dptei, 

Jam nr- A_ H. Mttfny iedJ, Oxford > 


an organization; of interdependence. Tribal solidarity is powerfully pro¬ 
moted in this way. Among the Hopi, the Beat clan provides the chief 
of the pueblo and lias charge of the important Soya! ceremony; the 
Badger clan has the Pownnu ritual; the Coyote dan provides the war 
chief, the Reed dan the town crier; to the Spider dan belong the Blue 
Flute and Antelope societies; and so on. Among the Gan da we find 
a similar division of tribal labor among dans* The Leopard cion has 
custody of the temple of the first kings the .Monkey eLm supplies The 
king with Ms chief butler, the Otter w ith bark cloth, die Elephant dan 
fus chief herdsman. The Ltmg&h dan is related to fishing and canoe 
making, and so on. Division of bbor and cooperation are of course but 
two rides, obverse and reverse, of but one social process. In the divirion 
of tribal labor among the several clans, each is bound to all the others 
by lies of dependence and necessity. The dan thus becomes an effective 
mechanism in the integrative process. 

In some societies, such as die Gandi of Uganda* tribal f>r national 
solidarity is promoted dan wise by the marriage of the king to a woman 
from each dan in the realm. 

Moieties , or dml ergmbMion* Many tribes arc divided into wo equal 
parts, or moieties (£t. rnoitie^ half). Wc may distinguish two kinds of 
moieties. those based upon kinship ties and those m>T so organized. Kin¬ 
ship moieties are unilateral, exogamtms groups of kindred. They arc 
thus timtages and, consequently, segments* A moiety based upon kimbip 
is (ike a dan, except that the number of dans composing a tribe may 
vary, whereas of moieties there arc always two, no more, no lc*. One 
might say that if there were only Wo dans in a tribe we would not call 
them dans bur muitrics. Since kinship moieties arc exogamous and 
unilateral, husband and wife may nor belong to the same moiety, and 
their children will belong to rhe moiety of one parent only. If they belong 
to the moiety of the mother, the moieties arc mamEnesl; «f to the group 
of the father, they are patrilineal. Moieties may or tray not be designated 
by a name. Wc see. then, that moieties based upon kinship arc simply 
a special Irind of lineage organization, a particular form in which the 
process of segmentation expresses itself. We may expect to find, there- 
fore, that the premises, principles* and reasoning that wc have already 
applied to segmentation. jnd lineage* in general wiU lie applicable to 
moieties in particular, as they have been to clans. 

Moieties based upon kinship tics arc for this reason an integral part 
of the bask social structure of the tribe. But some tribes, is wc have 
just noted, have moieties of a different sort. They are nor basically bin- 
ship organization*. although membership may be determined by nutr* 
riage or by descent. These nonkmvhip moieties arc simply halves of a 


social whole, distinguished fur the purpose of performing reciprocal or 
complementary functions; any connection with kinship is merely inci¬ 
dent al. In some trilxs, a person may belong to liis father’s moiety but 
the moieties may have nothing to do with marriage; i.c., they are not 
exoganious. Or membership might be determined by marriage: a woman 
may be required to join the moiety of her husband if she docs nor al¬ 
ready belong to it prior to marriage. One's membership in the “social- 
function" type of moiety may therefore change from one to the ocher, 
which is of course impossible in the ease of "kinship” moieties. Some¬ 
times membership in a ritual moiety is merely a matter of personal 
choice. In some instances it is determined by place of residence. In some 
of rhe Kcresan Pueblos, for example, residents in oik part of the vil¬ 
lage belong to the Squash kiva group; resident, of the other half, to 
the Turquoise moiety. Among the Central Eskimo the season ot ones 
birth determines whether he will belong to the Summer or the Winter 
moiety. "Ritual" moieties arc tints fundamentally different from kinship 
moieties with respect to the basts of organization. All moieties, how¬ 
ever, arc alike in tint they are coequal parts of a tribal whole and as 
5 uch have certain functions to perform. We shall return to the non kin¬ 
ship rvpc of moiety and its functions later. We wish now to consider the 
organization of moieties Upon rhe basis of kinship. 

Since kinship moieties are lineages, segments of a social whole, and since 
we luvc analyzed the scgntcnrivc process and have demonstrated its. 
operation. we have already dealt with the genera) category, of which 
moieties arc but a particular example. Consequently, wt already know A 
great deal about moieties, nut merely as segments but also as lineage seg¬ 
ments. But moieties ate a particular form of expression of the process of 
segmentation, and for an explanation of this we must have a special 
theory. The question that confronts us at this point is. therefore, why 
has the general process of segmentation expressed itself in some societies 
in the formation of rwo and only two exogamous, unilateral kinship 
groups, ntoutiet, whereas in other cultural systems an indefinite and 
varying number of such groups, rtow, has been the result? 

In discussing the process of segmentation earlier, it will l* recalled, 
we observed its operation in astronomical, physical, chemical, and biologi¬ 
cal sectors a# well as in the social field. We may now observe a similar 
scope and extent of the bilateral farm of the scgnicntivc process. 

Unity in the form of two parts is a fairly common phenomenon in 
nature. The positive and negative poles of a magnet constitute a unity • 
Electricity is manifested in positive ,md negative forms. Binary ‘■tars con¬ 
stitute unity of a sort. Bilateral symmetry is a characteristic of many 
living organisms. The division nf a species into two sexes is an instance 
of unity in dual form. Mitosis, or cell division into halves, is a characieris- 


tit biological process. Ami in human society, moieties may constitute 
a single whole. Tims we see rh.u moiety organization U not a unique 
phenomenon bur a particular expression of a principle (hat may be 
cosmic in its scope; ’* bilateral unity, like multiple segmentation, ap¬ 
pears (t. be J cittrtcttrodc of many kinds of systems, soda!, hinlngl r-il , 
and physical. 

In some cases of bilateral unity one part is like the other qualitatively, 
structurally, and functionally. Thus, one moiety is like its counterpart, 
ami binary stars may be alike. In other instances we may simply have 
opposite aspects of a single phenomenon, such as the poles of a nw y wr , 
or positive and negative charges of electricity. And in siill other cases, 
we may have a qualitative difference between the two parts, c.g„ the 
two sexes of a species. All forms of hi lateral imiry have one thing in 
cornumn, however: the ports are inseparable. One magnetic pole, one 
See, or one moiety cannot exist without its counterpart whether the 
parts Ik alike, opposite, or merely qualitatively different. 

A consideration of a certain font) nf bilateral unity may tie instructive 
here, namely, the division of a species into two sexes, male and female. 
Here we have a lorrn pf dual organization tint presents two significant 
aspects, biological and sociological. The species, as a system, has been 
divided into two opposite, or complementary, and inseparable par hi. Male 
and female form a biological unity. Bur the relationship between males 
and faults is social as well as biological. Copulation is i social relation* 
ship as well as a biological one. arid among primates, social relations be¬ 
tween the sexes hive other forms of expression also, such as grooming, 
courting, playing, lighting, etc. Thus, in the course of biological evolu¬ 
tion we find that dual, or moiety, organization has been developed in 
certain sectors. If we can discover the reason for this, or W express our¬ 
selves more precisely, if we can discover the function of this type of or¬ 
ganization in general, perhaps some light will lie thrown on our prob¬ 
lem of moieties in human society. 

I Pic dUlarenmiitm of a species into two distinct sexual forms is of 
course the result of ages of evolutionary development. But between 
the levels of asexual and bisexual reproduction, we find some interesting 
intern ted taic forms. In certain hermaphroditic species, such as snails, 
copulation between individuals nevertheless takes place. Each snail has 
rhe element, necessary fur reproduction, both male and female. Yet in- 
vc-id of reproduction by a single individual, rwo snails come together 
and exchange servlets and substances. This is very interesting and max* 
prove instructive. Why do these organisms, each of which is capable 
of the act of reproduction, cooperate instead of functioning tingle? 

“It hm f«xndy Ikeit wggoetd by phyriefeh ffm to ihr world of manic there 
cOriKpond^ i wqrl d of WOTIlHW, Of yf Atl EirtiJticr, 


We suggest that the answer is chat life h made more secure by Co- 
Operative reproduction^ that reproduetion is more likely to occur and 
offspring will rend to be more numerous, if the *raulb couptmte, mi* 
their sperm and egg cells—pool their resources, so mi speak —dim if each 
irent irs way by itself* In other words, diffrrrmijfi&n of rtnarurt', ape- 
Ctdktftfan of function, «r/r+f ooopcraiiori jtc three aapeotf of *f u’jy to make 
tiff more secure. In snails we find differentiation of structure and spe¬ 
cial i?tti on of function, male and female, even though both arc housed in 
one body. Bur we find division of labor and cooperation on the soda! 
plane* berween individuals. As biological evolution progresses, sexual 
structure and function income further differentiated, and evcntuallv. 
somaocully separate and distinct structures are produced. Division of 
labor and cooperation on the social plane now become a biological neces¬ 
sity* ft nsight seem paradoxical that die life of a species could he made 
more secure by difFerentiacing two sexes and nuking one dependent 
Upon the other, or by making reproduction and survival of the species 
dependent upon the mutual dependence of the sexes, But mutual de¬ 
pendence is nor a riling by irsclf. h h merely the obverse of a process 
of which cooperation is the reverse side. And cooperation, die forma¬ 
tion of larger and better integrated svsttms, is a most effective way of 
making life secure. In soti&l as Well as biological evolution interde¬ 
pendence increases as structural diffcrentLiiion and functioital specializa¬ 
tion increase. farmer, physician miner, telegrapher, etc., are dependent 
upon one .mother *' [Itir together they form a system that h much more 
effective in the si niggle for survival Hum the relatively umMcrentiared 
and uromistkaJiy sclf-suiSdent todttitt of early staga of social evolu¬ 

We arc now in a pod tion to undent and moieties in die process of 
soda] evolution. They arc means of making life more secure in the 
struggle for survival, Moiety utg-mizutiim h a way of increasing sire of 
rise cooperative group, m tJ ic one hand* and of promoting solidarity, rut 
the other. It accomplishes the former by emending the radius of fcin- 
**hrp organization by supplementing known genealogiod reckoning with 
assumed gt-ncalogrcal relations: arty member of my moiety becomes my 

~ l Dependence of one upon another may pomniniei nufee Ufa 1« secure for par- 
rirubr individuals, Jhts% a dktnnmJ ctimrr or a die maker tn a highly dmlnpcd 
culture ntiy scTually luree less contfol orer his mcirfei of life th±n a hunter or Ufreer 
in tribal viciety Bur in a confide ration uf todal cvdumxn ic U the secfnculturi! 
tyxtcm that is of primary UTipfimmctH The sccirriry of rynrtnt radier thuu of na* 
drvidujlf cuiTiei fini* fnf witlmut systems there m mi security fnr any mdivkhnih; 
the indiv idual derive* hh security bean tocfal lynuuH, Tf, Therefore, tome individuals 
art true Sr Jcsi secure, or evrn e-Vfiriipishcil an the couth? ni u>cial cvfduriotl. ihif dwi 
nut iKg^ie or inluimbe ihe sibtocc ui-ieIc. The individual may Ik uni often b 
mtiiccd for ehc' utij survival u£ the Bocktv* 


relative because of assumed genealogical ties. Moiety organization fosters 
solidarity by the same means: by creating a relative too remote to be 
identified genealogically as If he were a dose, genealogically identifiable 

Dual organization, {ike that of clans, provider a means and a basis of 
tribal integration upon a sgprafamiliaL suprogeneatogically distinguishable 
lineage level, Instead of a tribe achieving solidarity through the integra¬ 
tion of several darts, it now accomplishes it through die integration of two 

Tribal integration h promoted by having each moiety perform some 
function nectary to the welfare of the othcr f such as burying the 
dead. Here again, mutual dependence, reciprocal functions, make for 
tribal integration. Rivalry between the moieties in games, dances, and 
ceremonies aho is a way of fostering tribal solidarity and of nourishing 
a healthy esprit dc c&fps. 

Having examined certain forces and characteristics of systems in gen¬ 
eral chat rend to produce bilateral unity* we now turn to other processes 
that might produce the same effect in human society, L.ei us go back 
ro our discussion of incest and the processes of exogamy and endogamy* 
k will be recalled that we traced the extension of the taboo against in- 
breeding from within the family outward through a succession of de¬ 
grees of relationship. Prohibition of marriage with a half brother or 
half sister would follow the prohibition of marriage with a full brother 
or sister, Marriage with parallel cousins would be the next to fall under 
the ban. But owing to the operation of endogamy as a process comple¬ 
mentary to exogamy, marriage with a cross-cousin would be required at 
the same rime that marriage with parallel cousins w j as prohibited. And 
it sn happens, as we Itavc noted earlier, that the Institution of cross-cousin 
marriage is quite widespread in primitive society Wc now come to a 
significant point: cross-cousin marriage jj an established citttmt or in- 
solution would tend to produce dual orgsmodm, 

A social system that practiced cross-cousin marriage would reckon 
descent uni laterally since it would distinguish ctass-cousim from parallel 
cousins, Thtut* I would distinguish my father's brother’s children from 
my father's sister's children and my mother 1 * sister's children from my 
mother's broth tris children. Hut with cross-consul marriage; my mother's 
brothers children may also be my father's sister 1 s children and my 
mother's sister's children may Ik mv fmheris brother's children. But 
whether my mother's farm her** wife is my father's ^brer nr not, their 
children will Ik ferminotogEcally equal; they will Ik my clasificaiory 
siblings. Thus, 1 will distinguish nvo. and nnly two, lineages a pjfcmsl 
and a maternal. Jf descent is reckoned matrilineally, the significant lineages 

structvke, fuwctiom, Eraurnow or human socim systems i«j 

will lie my father's nuirilineal lineage omi my mother's nmrilincal lineage; 
if descent is reckoned patriltaeslly, the significant lineages will lie my 
father’s and mV mothers patrilineal lineages, respectively. Now if the 
social system is mull and well i me grated, everyone in the society' will be 
related to everyone else, and that relationship w ill be known. In tenrn 
of the dassificatory sptctn of relationship, all person*, in the tribe will 
be my 1 immediate relatives. Outside my own funnily, ail men in my 
r ia r f ms generation will be my “fathers” (my father’s brothers) or my 
“nudes” (my mothers brother;). Persons on fiiy own genera it do level 
wail be mv "siblings” (my parallel cousins) or my “cousins” (my cross* 
cousins). From my standpoint. the w hole trilw is divided into two great 
lineages, my father's and my mother’s, patrilineal and tnarrilineal, as the 
ease may be. Now what is true from my standpoint is true for any other 
person, of course Everyone, therefore, finds the society divided into two 
equal parts, his father’s eXOgamoiM, unilateral group and that of Jus 
mother. These rwo groups are, in effect, moieties. 

But let us carry this process of social evolution farther. The dual or¬ 
ganisation of a society that we have just dcscriiivd is based upon genea¬ 
logical reckoning: I many a woman because she is my mother s brother s 
daughter, or my father's sister’s daughter. She is my first cross-cousin 
genealogical!v\ not a more distant “classi lie story* cross-cousin, At a cer¬ 
tain stage of social evolution the requirements of social solidarity ^and 
integrity would oblige me rn marry, not awy person in the class my 
female cross-cousin.” but a particular one, namely, the daughter of a 
sibling of my own parents. At a higher stage of social development, 
however, this particular ciidoganmus requirement may l>f relaxed, and 
1 may be pern hr ted to inarrv J«y of my female cros-cousins. Let t» see 
how this might be brought about, and also w hat specifically we mean 
bv "liigher stage of social development." 

Cross-cousin rnurb^e belongs, according to out theory*, to a relatively 
early stage of social evolution, to a stage where marriage is determined 
bv genealogical relationship rather titan by general group membership. 
As culture' evolve;, as technological control over nature, particularly 
over the food supplv, increases, the population will increase. The sudd 
system will trnd to incorporate this increase in numbers within itsetf. tf 
circumstances perm it, instead of letting some split off and form a new 
social system, for the reason that larger social groups have a better chance 
of survival, nther factors being constant, in the competitive struggle 
for existence than smaller groups. Bat as the sire of the group increases, 
a number of interesting consequences follow: (i) It becomes increas¬ 
ingly difficult, and eventually impossible, in organize and integrate a 
society cm the basis of genealogical reckoning alone; one simply cannot 
remember genealogy' beyond 9 certain point, ( i) The need for close 


cndogamtuts marriage decreases; the need for integration with a larger 
group increases, Cfoss-corain marriage is, of course, restrictive; its iim¬ 
mediate elfect is to unite but two families into a mutual-sid group. Jf 
marriage can unite an individual with a larger group without a loss of 
solidarity as great as or greater than the gain from union with a larger 
group, then such a marriage is advantageous, (j) Integration on a level 
I uglier than genealogical reckoning is fostered, 

We can now see wliafc type of social system would succeed cross-cousin 
marriage. As the population increased and the tribe became larger, the 
ruk of marriage would change* which is to My, the specific,!dura of 
oogamy and endogamy would be retie lined. Marriage would no longer 
be determined by genealogical reckoning alone; insread of being re¬ 
quired m many a picric uiir cruss- cmisui, 1 coutd now- many my cinss- 
crjurin, i,c rT any member of a group. The two lineages of the tribe have 
now become moieties. A lineage is a grouping of kindred based upon 
known genealogical relacioraliips^ a moiety is a group of relatives among 
whom genealogical catineeriom arc assumed, Marriage is now determined 
by moiety affiliation rather than by genealogical reckoning; one must 
marry’ inro rhe opposite moiety from his own* but within that mulct}" lie 
may many as lie pleased 

The flhift from genealogical reckoning 30 J lineage organisrjiiion to 
marriage by group membership and moiety organization bring* with it 
new alignment'' in the process of integration. With cross-cmtrin mar¬ 
riage [ am united co a family and to a lineage as far 2 $ gcnejEogieaJ 
knowledge cm reach. But this b a relatively small group. When erosv 
cOUStn mirriage and genealogical reckoning have been superseded by 
moiety organisation. I became united in marriage nor mere tv with my 
bride's lineage* bur with an entire hatf of the tribe. To each member 
of my wire s moiety 1 assume obligations and acquire rights by virtue 
of moiety membership alone. The scope of marriage as an integrative 
mechanism is increased greatly by passing from cross-cousin marriage 
and genealogical lineages to moieties. 

And finally* as we have noted earlier, the mnicries themselves provide a 
new basis for tribal Integra non- They assume reciprocal or comple¬ 
mentary function* and by this mean* foster tribal solidarity. Integrarinn 
is now achieved on a supfaliucage level. 

In view of rite extensive discussion in anthropological literature of 
the fell] duns hi p between tlie custom, or institution, of crnss-consui mar¬ 
riage and dual organization, it might be well to summame nur posi¬ 
tion nn tiiii point, According to our theory, cross Hcnusin marriage tends 
to divide □ society into two, aod only two, lineages* into two uniLucraL 
cxogomoLLs kiusliip groups. W hen marriage in accordance with genealogi¬ 
cal connection gue< way to marriage by group membership—as ir docs 


when population und szc *jf group arc Increased by an advance of techno- 
logical control—these lineages become crystallized into moieties with 
names. Ttius> moiety organize!Eon is regarded ns e higher stage of de¬ 
velopment than that of mere crots-tuuan marriage, or as a culmination 
or eomcvjlienee of fhk form of marriage. 

A relationship between dual organization and cro^cntirin marriage 
has lieen recognized for a Jong time, hut explanations of this connection 
hive varied consilerahly- Tv!or felt dm * ‘cruSMJdu^n imrn^c ... 
muse he the direct result of tJae simplest form of exogamy, where a 
population is divided into two dasses or sections,” 13 Ai one time. Rivers 
believed that cross-cousin marriage "has probably arisen in most,, if not 
in ill, ease* out of this form (dual} of social organization/ 1131 Further- 
more, Rivers and others have held that the custom of cross-cousin mar- 
ringc may outlive the dual organization that produced it. Therefore live 
mere presence of croa-couriti marriage proves the former existence of 
dual organization. 11 Bur there b serious objection to rhb theory. In 
cro& marriage. one marries hb mi;n mother's brother's daughter 
or father’s sister's daughter, nor merely a dassificatory cousin. Dual or¬ 
ganization and exogamy would require merely that nne marry imn the 
Opposite moiety, i.e., with my cross-cousin, blow dual organization could 
bring a hour marriage with one's own first cross-cousin was not explained. 
Rivers himself noted this difficulty. 15 Westerrnjrizlc tutd J.owie have made 
the same objection to this theory", 1 * Our theory shows how cross-cousin 
marriage could produce a dual organization of society. And we have ex¬ 
plained cross-cousin marriage also* 

With regard to the relationship between cross-enurin marriage and 
dual organization, it lias been pointed our rhar many tribe* have one in¬ 
stitution but not the other. As LowJe lias observed: "Further* Dr. Rivers 
lias shown that In Melanesia k is precisely the tribes lacking such an organ¬ 
ization which practice cross-cousin marriage, while this insrimriun is 
absent where the dual organization in full swing. " s? Ihsi this, too, b 

u F B. Tylno *Qn a Method 0/ timsdgsiinff the Dev*Sopmfitc of InHimriOM* fie** 
fauriftaf of ibt Anibf&pph%k*t vol. ift, p. 16.^ 1*8*- 

"W, H. k. Riverj, ,b Alarrrigc, n Lra BftryelopotJLt af Rftifiam mrf Effort, J, Hunm-p 
fcdJ, iqij* p. .|j^ P 

"IV, tr. k. kiverst "The MirJrijge aI Crt^ Oman* In bulb," of the 

Rvyaf Atiatifi S&ttety* aft. eiVh pp. du-&p* i w- Govind 5. Ghurye, ^Dud Organize 
tion in India* fnumj&f of the Royji Antbrtpoltiglc*l imtsttm. vn-l jj, pp. 70^1, 
k. L, QUtrn< m Chn mA \ 3 thirty in N ative America, - Uw%rrni\ &f 
Publicjfiimf in Ameriejn Arthar&Iojgy tnJ hrf;noto$t. ml u, jfp, fooimne, i9jj. 
*W. H- FL kwen. The Hftuvy of AUhmtrii* Sonet}'. vnJ pp. ui ’isj k 191^- 
“KdwirJ VV atcrrrutvk Muter^ 0/ .Ifrfmjgr, eol. i, hj±j . pp« 7 ^ rVn 

k. H. L j jw. pc t PriMmir S&eietf, Lfrtrighi PuMKhing GutptJir^iion, New Vufk. 1^47, 

p. w, 

11 Lorwie, Priffii 4 h.'t Socforf, p 30 . 


to be expected on the Imh of our theory. In the early stages of the ero^ 
cQudii-mamAge-nidcty-organjscadijn seqiumec, we would e5Lpeo to find 
CTOS^coUsin marriiige bur not mnieric&i rhe Litter leivc not yet M time to 
Iwrorne sufficiently crystallized to be distinguished, functionally sig¬ 
nificant, or named, fn tht latter singes of this sequence, wc would expect 
to find moieties, but not cross-cousin marriage the latter, ntarriage ac¬ 
cording to genealogical connect!nn, lias lucn superseded by marriage 
accord tug to croup membership- Midway in this sequence, We might 
expect to find'both institutions, the end of one stage and the beginning 
of another overtopping. Far from interpreting a Jack of coincidence of 
these two institutions as indicaring no generic relationship between them, 
our tlitorj" would lead us to expect a greater number of societies with 
im\y one of these institutions than with hot Is* 

Although out theory postulates a functional relationship between 
cross-eourin marriage and dual organization in many sicuarions, it d&cs 
not assert that the former must always produce rhe lacier or that moieties 
aie impoM-ib!c without cross-cOUsin marriage a? their efficient cause- 
Water Joes nut always turn to ice at o*C or become steam at too^C 
Tt is quire possible rim a socictv could practice cross-cousin marriage 
but [liar the two linages formed by Hits type of muriage might never 
become crvsmllked into distinct csogamotis moieties with names, either 
because the evolutionary princes is not curried Far enough or because 
of t lie operarion of other factors If salt is pur into water* for example, 
it will not freeze at u g C On Mir other hand, wc believe that dual organ- 
izarion might be produced by other factors than cross ^cousin marriage- 
The whole class of 1 'ritual 11 muicrit^ has been formed independently of 
cross-cnurin marriage, and it would seem unwarranted! to insist that nifilt* 
ties of the kinship type must he produce*} only by cross-cousin marriage- 
However, cross-comin marriage is, according to our iJicory T a stage of 
devdopnifist in the normal process of evolution/* and the fornurinn of 
moieties U a norma!, logical consequence of the operation of this rule ui 
marriage, But this docsnor, mean that this sequence events must occur 
always and everywhere, 

XVt now turn to the question, “Why h*$ the process of segmentation 
produced multiple lineage segments in some instances and but two in 

"To feeugnize ihnpruiaiidej in the rvnhitjoFiiry proc^v. to admit ttat the nnmnal 
sequence can be upset hy lonwinut cirtunmancai or occidental factor*, i* not t«v 
dcm T the rzdimicc uf an emludcmiff piocw nr m negate theory. A 

diwLi^ nf the pmistan gland, i malady produced by extreme sfanaricirL nr a kvw 
Hew on die head might ftrioarfy disturb iod dwron the J notin^l process of 
— <ii abruptly rernuenre in JVttr ihii docs nor mein that gniwih n not s ^a] proce& 
or that the concept of growth « Invalid. 

STJurcm m T function FVOi-OTjflN of humah bociat. systems 1^7 

others? * The answer sccnis to lie in a consideration of rbc mode of life 
of (he society. If the tribe is widely distributed over the landscape and 
divided into a ctinxtdcrablc number of local Territorial groups, then the 
process of legmen ration woutJ be inclined tu produce a corresponding 
number of local csogatnous lineages. If. however the mode of Lis¬ 
tener and defense kept the group intact and together* the inclination 
might be toward dual organization* As we have repeatedly observed, 
social evolution is tide a process in i'&eun r On ilit contrary, 11 U always 
and everywhere 4 function of ihc technological processes bv which life 
is sustained, and these in turn arc iuttmitcly related to the specific fea¬ 
tures of a particular habitat. We may not always know tlic answer* ro 
questions regarding different forms of social organization, bur we know 
where to look for them; in the technological adjustment ro habitat anil 
to neighboring peoples. 

With regard 10 multiple lineage, nr dam, and dual organization, ir is 
not to be assumed that the question is of aft "eithcr-OF'' nature* that d 
people must fuve the one or the oilier. They may, and often do, have 
both; tribes with moieties and clam are nor n all Lsncnimnnrt. Jn sfurierjcs 
having both moieties (of the “kinship” type) md clans, the funner must 
be assumed to have trcen formed firnt. the Utter by j subsequent process 
of subdivision Ivy segmentation. We know of no process that would 
group full (Iedged clans into two ocogammis ‘“kinship* moieties (although 
they might he grouped into feronpmal taihxs r^r the purpose of promot¬ 
ing tribal solidarity through rivalry an d reciprocal functions) H The for¬ 
mation of dares as subdivisions of moieties is, however, easy enough to 
umierstijodr as the population increases and the moieties become brger, 
they would tend to beeumc segmented ns a means of nmmruming their 
integrity—to keep them from falling nparr from sheet si tc and weight, 

Aloietits origi miring as kinship group may* however, and often do, 
acquire ritual functions. Some of these functions may he regarded merely 
as adjuncts of kinship organization, as ways of expressing or validating 
relationships laetwten group* of kindred. But moiedes mas 1 acquire rinud 
functions in addition to this. Tribal labor may he divided between moieties 
*a it is jn many cases umong clans, and by this division of labor tribal 
solidarity may be promoted. Thm vvt set that moieties originating as 
kinship groups may acquire a ceremonial or ritual character At the same 
time, they might lose some of their functions as kinship groups, specif- 
icully the rcgubirion of marriage- Wc li ne seen how cross-cousin marriage 
may lie superseded bv moiety exogamy, that marriage may come to be 
determined bv moiety affiliation rather than by genealogical connection. 
Bur if the moieties should become subdivided into clans, the former might 
lose their exogamou* character and the regulation of rmrriage might be 


taken nvcr bv the clans entirely. According 10 Morgan, the moiftics of 
the Iroquois were once exogam Otis, but by the early iBws they had lost 
tins characteristic, 1 * Goldmwefccrt field studies of frnquoian ad tune 
led him to the same crodimon. 54 It may sound paradoxical to say so, 
hm the role uf moiety exogamy has an endogamous effect; it compels an 
individual to marry vathm a certain restricted group, although in this It b ntrt bfo Jwtt* TSc tattte&m of scope of marriage choice ob- 
tiina. nevertheless. M we have already seen, the scope of marriage choice 
grows larger as society evolves* Tliis h merely mmher way of saying 
that as culture advances, a larger mutual-aid group can be T and Is, formed 
hv riirtrriaL'c without impairment of solidarity; and tlus increased size is 
an advantage in the struggle for existence- At a certain stage of social 
evolution, marriage Ircrwcen dam of the <amc moiety is incompatible 
with optimum conditions of solidarity. As culture advances, however, it 
becomes one only possibly bur it ray become desirable, to enlarge the 
scope of choice of marriage in the interests of tribal inTcgrarion and soU 
idarity. As this point k approached anil reached. moiery exogamy weakens 
and brejb down. This is not to say* however, that moieties must always 
lose their wnganuma cluructcf or even that this is the 1 normal course of 
evolution, We say merely that it may occur and that it has in all prob¬ 
ability happened in many instances. 

Thus* we sec that moieties may originate os kinship group:, acquire 
ritual functions, beget clans, and eventually lose their exogenous char¬ 

Segments ht AmtfJtlim society* No account of social evolution in gen¬ 
eral or of segmentation in particular would be complete without some 
discussion of the tribes of Australia. I-ct jt be noted, however, that we 
deal with these groups at the conclusion of our discussion of unilateral 
kinship segmentation ruber than at the beginning. Unlike some earlier 
writers, we du not regard the social organization of Australian tribes at 
representing a primordial condition out of which all other forms have 
subsequently developed. The social organization of aboriginal Australia 
is. however, extremely interesting, and an analysis of it can be very it- 
I y minuting. it has certain features rivet are in a sense unique, and a close 
study of rlicm will enrich our understanding of soda! organization in 
gene ml. Bur the significant thing about Australian social organization 
b net that it is more elemental or primordial than other social systems, 
for we find even more primitive systems ekerwhere, but that it presents 
in highly specialized form (he same sort of thing tliAt is found eke where 

**L H* Mnigaii* The Lt*x*t of tlx Ho-dt-nu uu rr L v. or Jrftijwuf, i8fi, p- 
"Alexander GuMcjiwciser* On hoqmit Wort, Summary Reprr of the GwEnped 
Survey, Depampsart of Mines, for sgri« Cfcwm, ^14- P- 4 ^ 

^TKtjfTTx^BE, FtttrcrragvSp rvorurros 1 op human social nt$tz ms i6o 

in ii]ore simple form ,* 1 Aboriginal Australia exhibits in magnified form 
so to speak. the workings of processes that we have become familiar with 
elsewhere, namely, endogamy t exogamy, and segmentation, Australian 
social organization h nor< therefore, 10 he thought of as typical even of 
primitive society* much a& the primnrdijl trunk from which all other 
social forms have branched or grown. Rather, it u a highly specialized 
form of human social structure Upon j primitive and early levd, As *udi 
it is nor only Interesting but instruct!ve. 

There is a considerable v arm non of social organization from tribe to 
tribe in Australia, However, must, if nor all, forms can Ik: assigned to one 
or another of two main typo. according to RaddifftN Brown: the K-jritr* 
and die Arttnta types * 5 In the former, the tribe b divided into four named 

Kiriftfj Anuria 

Figure 7-1, Karima and Arunta Mgnicrtr*. 

exogenous segments; in the latter, eight, These are the so‘called “mar¬ 
riage closes" that have Womc so renowned in ethnological literature* 
In both Kariem and Aruma types an indivrdiml ls nor only forbidden (<:■ 
marry within liis own segment, he is required ro marry into a particular 
segment, And in both types the children belong to a segment different 
from that of either parent. The rcktiondup of the segment to marriage 
and descent is indicated in Figure 7-r f ill which letters stand for the 
named segment^ the equals sign for the marriage union, and the broken 
arrows for father-child relationship. 

Thus, in the Kiricra type* a man in segment , J f marries a woman in 
segment B } and rhrir children belong to segment f,; a man in f) marries 
a woman in C and rheir children ore B, In rhe Aroma rype 1 a man in 
Segment G mimes 3 woman in E> ihrir children are //; a man in B mar¬ 
ries a woman in their children belong to segmenr O t and to on. 
Analysis of these two types of organization will disclose the fact that 

* See RjJdjfft-flifiurt"!. iliioisdoji of ihis point in 'The l^rcsem Podrinn of An- 
thtojPtik^c-d Snidic?." JVtirtrtrfftfli J Iritiik dsfociii:km {ar tbt AthMttmtm 
pp 14-tj, 

18 A. R, Raddjffc-ilfDisn, The Sochi Otgaafettutt of Auitralim Tribci/" OtfirMi, 
vtil H i, pr. 1, [k 4/b igjou 


both art expressions of the processes of endogamy, exogamy. andwegmot* 
ration, with which we are already familiar, We fiml m principle op era- 
rive in Australian soci al organization that we arc nnc well acquainted wirh 

In both Aruma and Katie t a types we have txugvttnua. patrilineal, and 
patrilocal territorial groups as n consequence of the mode of subsistence 
and division of labor between men and women, In heath systems the 
of endogamy and exogamy arc specific and concise- And in each case, 
there is an alternation in cadi patrilineal lineage between the segment 
of the father and rhe segment of his children; if rhe father belongs to 
segment A and his children to segment C, his sons 1 children will belong 
to A , and the children of his sons' sons will belong to C f and so oil Each 
sy s tem is the resultant of the operation of a few factors- We can define 
these factors precisely and observe plainly the effect produced by each SJ 

First, we may note that in ImitU rhe Karlen and the Arunta types* the 
tribe is divided into both inatriluical and patrilineal moieties, cadi of 
which is exogenous. The Kiri era tribe is divided into four exogenous 
sections by the intersection uf matri lineal and patrilineal moieties. Thus, 
in Figure 7-1* segments /I and C comprise one patrilineal moiety; seg- 
meats B and D, another. Segments A and D form one matrilineal moiety; 
If and C, another. Since bmh kinds of moieties arc cjtogamtms, A male 
cannot marry a woman in segment C because k is a part Of hu patrilineal 
moiety t He eannnc many into D iiecausc that is a part of bk ma irlRne a l 
moiety. He an, tliercfoVe, marry inro segment B only. In the Arcnm 
system, segments AECF cwnpme one patrilineal moiety, BQDH another. 
Mirrilineal muietie* ace HADE and CARS, A male in Segment A can¬ 
not marry' into segments A\ C. and F because they arc in hb patrilineal 
moiety, nor into segments H, D t and E because tliey are in Iris matriSEm^J 
maicry. Ttiis leav es segment G anti B. He is not permitted to marry into 
Ci became it contains his first cross-cousin*. He must therefore marry 
into segment B t which comaim his second crass-cousins {Figure 7-r)* 
The foregoing presentation i\ in a sense, given backward; wc have used 
rhe segments 10 show how both patrilineal and math lineal exogimous 
moieties operate- Actually the two kinds of exogenous moieties caitie 

“F, Cialfqci jccua to have been the rirsi lo prov ide an cxplanatmo of Awnlint 
seedem in “Note <m Australian MamM Syma&T Iftumal of t&t Amthr&pQtenu:*! 

vol. ifl, jip. rflSg. A. B, "The RrguUtidn 

rUgt in AnihrymT /ghtjwJ of ihr Rnyxt AmhrQpowgkxl tTarimu', v^t pp, p$- 
j 4 z i 1917, ihrtw addin. *11A li^ht m die cubjccL IV. F- LawretuV* 'Alternating ti^n 
emtiorp wi Australia." in SioJki in tb* Sricnte of Sociiiy w Cm. P. Murdock <cd-L 
[Oj;, and RadclF^Te-Boiwrs, off, efc, po, r •, i^|a-Egii, have Iiinher clarified ifre 
whuSc problem of Bcgiiienrariort and mnrrhgc in ihcrfigmal Avntrilijjs *oi:-Urrv. Set 
also G, P. Murdock. $**Aol Stwcttm, m^y, pp r j< 


first; the named segments have been farmed by the opmii&n of moiety 

The question "Bow have Australian rriiies come tn have both patri¬ 
lineal and matri lineal exogenous moieties? 1 * is pertinent here, bin we 
shall not deal with ir other than to refer to our previous discussion of 
division of labor atimg sex lines* and tn add that patrilineal dticerst and 
the moieties may express rhe monopoly by men of certain tribal religious 

A ft 

H F 

Ay 6 

r? | a 



0 £_ 

T o 








A A 




k n 


L J 


c n 




C D 





Figure 7^. Segments- Arum system. 

functions, whereas the matrilined moieties express an eiitphaik up>n de¬ 
scent of fsmm hind tlirough females, Our purpose here is to explain the 
segments of die Karicra and Amma types of organisation, and die pres¬ 
ence and operation of ocogamnus patrilineal and niamlincal moieties 
are two of the three faernrs that bring diem about, 

Thc third factor is rhe rule of marriage; a tmn must marry his first 
cross-cousin in rhe Katiers type, his second cross-cousin in the Armiu 
type {Figum 7-1 and 7-ji)* 

So far, we have encounrered mulling in Australian social orgamicnrion 
with whkh we are not already fomiiian umbicril descent, lineages, 
mdienes, and now* -exogamy ind endogamy. In the Kariera type, the 
laws of exogamy prohibit marriage with parent, sibling, or parallel cousin, 
while rhe law nf endogamy require* marriage with a first erm-comn* 
In the Aniitta type, erne must marry mit as far as a second ctosa-cousin* 
bur tio farther. 

Wc now understand the Kiri era system, but what about the Arantn 
system; how is it to be explained? 

The Artmta system was developed out nf the Kan era system 3 * by n 
very simple device: a change in the rule nf fimrriiige from marriage with 
a first cross-cousin to marriage with a second erosc-enurim Let 115 see 

w "We ttr jimlfitd, I think, in regarding the K^rfer4 «Td the Anruh fYFWins ts 
e*0 terms in m tvtJhadooiiy pmea^ Rmldiffe-Btmvn, up, eir, pt 4, ipt, p fc ^ 

FRtMJTtVB CU(.Ttf*fc 
how rills cluuige hi the nilcs of endogamy and exogamy affected the 

--T wilt serve to illustrate both the Kafiem and the Arum* 
tvini For the Kaiicra system, however, we shall consider the letters 
stamliiw for ilie native names of the four exogenous segments only; tiie 
numerical subscripts will he ignored. In dealing with the Arum* system, 
both letter- and numerical subscripts will be considered. In the Kunei-i 
system, a man marries his first cross-cousin, his mother s brother s Jaugh- 
ter; A nude marries fl. But suppose the rule, of exogamy and endogamy 

are changed so ilut a man is prohibited from marrying Ins hrst cross¬ 
ed ikir but is required to marry his second cross-cousin. AU his cross- 
cuu-'iins belong to segment B- But the new rule* of exogamy and en¬ 
dogamy distinguish first cros^cousins from second, and more distant, 
cross-cousins. Segment If is therefore divided in rwo, one part, con- 
raining d« first cnoas-cousin#; tit the second and more distant cre»- 
cousins. What is done to this segment in tliis pinicubr case is, of course, 
done to each other segment in other cases. Thus, each of the tour seg¬ 
ments of the Karicra system is divided into two pres, and we now t»« 
Au A 3i Ur. B», C, T Cj, and Du Di, eight segments in all The operaimn 
of the rule > f marriage with reference to the segments is shown in i igure 

7-1 - 


After each segment has been thus divided in wo, one part— probably 
die one remaining the fir^r cross-courin$—will retain ihc old name uf 
the original segment, while the newly dtstingurihed part will receive a 
rume of its own. Thus A 2 will become E; C+> F; Bz, G; and H2 will be- 
come H (sec, ^gain, Figure 7-r a and £). Thus, the simple device of 
clanging the rule of marriage divides each segment of the Kariera system 
In two, and produces rhe eight-segment system of the An mm. 

r**i “ 

^ - V - 1 

Figure 7-+ Segments? A runts system derived from Katie ra system, 

But why was the rule of marriage changed? We cannot answer this 
question Apcdficully and in detail. But we can illuminate the problem 
by applying to it our theory of social evolution. 

Ar a certain a age of cultural and social evolution, marriage between 
first cross-ccusida was tile form of marital union best suited to the for¬ 
mation of a cooperative group of relatives of maximum effectiveness. 
Tile sfcc and solidarity of the cooperative group formed by marriage 
were s»o balanced, at a certain level of cultural development! by union 
between first cms-cumins a* to produce the maximum of its effectiveness 
^see nur earlier discusiiun of this matter 011 p- lo 7 )^ But at a higher 
stauc of cultural development and social evolution, the maximum effec- 
iI t cto of the cooperative group formed by marriage could not lx 
achieved by union between first cousins A larger group could be formed 
by marriage between second cousins, and if the gain in size was not offset 
by ^ diminution in solidarity. the larger group would be mure effective 
as a mutual-lid group, and there Would thus be 4 distinct advantage ac¬ 
cruing to c.ieh component mendxr of the group. 

At any rare, the marriage rule of rlw Aruma system was brought about 
by changing the rules of exogamy and endogamy of the Karicra system 
so thac a man married Isis mother'* mother 1 * brother % daughter * daughter 
—^his second cross-cousin^—inst^d of hiv mother v brother v daughter—his 
first cro^-courin. And a larger group of relatives was formed Uy a mar¬ 
riage union of the Aruma type than by one uf the Karieo system* In tlx 
Karicra systenu two families and two local groups nr hordes* to use 
Raddiffe-Ermrn’s term* axe united by my marriage: my father’s family 

i^4 mMtmvE cuLlttE 

and local group and mv mother’s brother’s family and horde. lit the 
Arama system, the families and local groups of my father, my mother, 
my mother’s mother's brother, and the husband of my mother's mother's 
brother's daughter arc all involved- Arunta marriage effects larger or more 
comprehensive integrations "' than dots marriage in the Kariera sy stem* 
and thus constitutes a higher stage of social evolution." 

There ire hvn other significant consequences of the change of mar* 
riagt rule from that of the Kiricra system to the rule of tire Arunta sys¬ 
tem* namely, a doubling of the munlicr of lineages into w luclii 
the tribe is divided, and corresponding diongcs in the kinship termi¬ 
nology. _ „ , 

Only WO patrilincages arc distinguished in the Kan era system r my 
own and that of my mother, AC and BD in J igurc 7-3. In the Anlntu 
system, friar patrilineages are distinguished; my fathers fathers, my 
father? mother’s brother's, mv mother’:, father's, and my mother's mother's 
brother's, AF, BD, Git, ami EC in Fipire 7 -a. Arunu-type marriage 
unite!, member? of four patril images; Kiricrj marriage only tv J> - 
Changes of kinship terminology accompany the transformation of the 
Kariera system to one of the Aninra type* In the Karitra system, for 
example, there arc only two terms for male grandparents, fathers father 
and mother's father, and two for female, father's mother and mothers 
mother. In Hie Arunta system, four kinds of male relatives and four kinds 
of female relatives are distinguished termi nologic ally in the second ascend¬ 
ing generation. Rut only four terms art employed, not eight. This is 
because the same term that is applied to a male relative is also applied to 
his sister," ST Thus, father’s father and father’s father’s sister are designated 
by the same term, as are mother's mother's brother and morher’s mother. 
Tim? we M'e Hiat the four pa trill ne.igt? of the Aninra sysrcin find espse?- 
sion in the kinship terminology, as the terminology of the Kariera sp tCltt 
expresses their two patrilineages. 

The Arunta svstem has been presented here is a higher stage of social 
evolution Hum thar of Hie Karicra. -is indeed it is- This evolutionary’ 
advance was brought about by changes in fire conditions of life; of this 
we may be sure: the alternatives to this view are free will and caprice, 
which are inadmissible as explanatory concepts in science. Unfortunately, 
however, we do not know specifically and in detail what the "changes 

” "In renm nf hordw it* nwmige syitent ef Aranda type resulit in * m, J re 
compl** imegrititin that the Kiricn tywem. linking on individual to foor Iteron 

in ill," (Uddiffe-Hrovfn, op. fit-, p. 4 jc ’ , . 

»-*.. . lirrhuinn .., it i process by which wahir intcenuium ir a Ftiglier level * K 

nihtfictiled n nr repine intcgraritwi w a lower level " ibid . p, 45:. 

"IMd-, pt 1, p. jo? ryjic 

srftUCTuoi* functions, EvOLtmtte of hitman sociai systems e 75 

in ihc conditions of Uf-fi” were in this case. There appears ro be no sig¬ 
nificant difference in technology between Karicra and Arunra wcincul’ 
tujal f y*V*m * But the condi do ns of subsistence may have been quire 
different. And the relations, in teirm of offense and defense. with neigh - 
boring tribes may have been different also. Tf» application of nur general 
theory of social evolution to tins particular instance would be more con¬ 
vincing if w« could support it with technological and ecological dam. 
But the absence of such information iti no w ay invalidates our theory. 

from the preceding discussion and analysis k k dear that Australian 
social organisation exhibits processes and structures rhnt ire found among 
many other tribes* We find division of Libor along so lines, local group* 
(“hordes/' nr bands) p families*, unilateral residence vnd uni] nerd descent, 
the formation of lineages, moieties, exogamy and endogamy, the formation 
of segments, etc* among the Karicra, Artinra* and other Australian tribes 
just as we find them in many other societies- Social evolution in Australia 
has proceeded along the same fundamental line* that it has U-Jlowed 
elsewhere. The only remarkable feature of Australian social organ [station 
is the formation of a number of named, exoganiutts segments within the 
moieties. Australia is not wholly unique In rise possession of segments of 
this sort, though nearly su, A. B. Deacon found a tiiiiilarly segmented 
system in Ambrym,** and further invcsrigatiofi may disclose systems of 
this sort in other parts of Melanesia, But the segments of Australian tribes 
arc in no sense mysterious; they have been brought about by processes 
that we arc well acquainted with in many parts of the world* I hey ore 
bite a p a menhir loud of expression of the process of segmentation. 

It might be well to include in our treatment of segmentation in Aus¬ 
tralian, social organization some discussion of rianr* Many writers speak 
of darts in Australia, among such tribes, for example, as the Arunta. But 
the Aruntil did not have true clans in the sense in which we liave defined 
the term: a unilateral, e x og a u w us group of kindred distinguished from 
other like groupings within the tribe by its own name, There wa^fKl 
grouping in Arunta society that corresponds exactly to tills definition. 
A single one of the named segments was not a clan, because the cliildrcn 
of a married couple did nut belong to the segment of either parent. But 
there was a grouping tliat came close to being a clan f according to our 
u>at;c of tSiL term. I bis was the local group, or Jbmrrftf, or more precisely, 
all panofis bom into the local group. 3 * All persons born into a horde 

m Deacon, *f. e«- 

" Ser Riddlffe-ftrowfiV diiriurtmii b e umu cUn and Imfde. Radcflffe Bnswti de¬ 
fines bur dr b “*1| men bom tom the hwde the local, rarrimnal proop 1 togerfitr 
with ilitir wives and Dnm^md djughicft” He calh til pcjjrjot bam in die lundt 
a elm. Op, ej*_, p, s> 


constituted an cxiigarnoBS, grouping of kindred Cm it was 
nut a single, uiuiiffcrcnimted group; it was composed of members of two 

n am ed segments. * 

ft would have been a simple matter, however, to transform tlic local- 
wed patrilitwages into true dans. If the diitinerif.n between the segments 
comprising each local lineage were obliterated, wliich would have meant 
abandoning the mainlined moiety organization, and if each local lineage 
u-ere then distinguished from all the others by a name, us the localities 
among the Annua arc. the localized lineages would hove become true, 
full-fledged chins. Bodi of these changes could have been, effected very 
easily hy, or ns a consequence.of, a simple change in the rote of marriage: 
if Stilt further latitude were desired than the rule requiring marriage with 
a second cousin permitted, the rule could have been modified to pcrtntr 
marriage into anv localised patrtlincage save one’s own. I he nameJ *cg' 
mems would then have lost their significance and would disappear to¬ 
gether with the tvfigatnous tmtriliiicil moieties, and tiic named Ircdi/c 
p nil beiges would have become true dans. The changes indicated here 
would he rather radical, but there is no reason to suppose that they could 
nor have hern effected by further advance in social evolution. 

AmbOetfral lineages.*" By lineage, as we have indicated previously, 
we mean a grouping of relatives in terms of parent-child relationships, 
a lineal grouping as distinguished from a collateral or oilier kind of segre¬ 
gation, lineal groupings may Ik uni la re ru]—patrilineal or matri lineal—-or 
ambilateral. Thus, the grouping may be tuned upon lineal rein ridtts hips 
through one ses only, either male or female, or it may include aveendaiits 
jjid descendants in both lincK male ami fettuifc- A patrilineal linage Is, 
hive nuiod cadre?* composed or 3 matt *ind hi> children vnd the de^ctrtuanis 
of his sons jn rhe m ile line nul y. A mam lineal lineage is composed uf a 
woman am! lice children and the descendants of her daughter* in the 
female line only. An ambihicrdlineage is a lineal grouping of relatives 
in which one traces his relationship ro some married couple as a starring 

-Tb« author \% indebted to Dr- Paul Kifdilioff for an iUumif»ring il 3 scu*ioii, ui 
%n msnubtijJieJ pop**. of mbiUttrd am\ dm ru Mtl Gpet Fuch-t, * 

nr HiiJcitt at rite University of Mkhi^an, who' made a nudy ol unhilcircral hncajfei 

under the in [’* direction. . 

* The author puffin ainhilaCGfil to bkhiml for thk tVp< of giouptng- Up Ht 
Atretm it neJtoncil in otw lint, fcikierd in bodt caizklLy, anti although &**&- ittc^ 
hmh. ttnblktcrmL like lEnbiiJertrcra crirtsoies "either or bmh. lF It w \tt thtt yiw 
due Raymond Firth— who wb the fine tn ehc 1 fc» term *3 far 1* we knuw—to 
used it in describing Thr *oekU orgartoti- «n of die \hoii u Dcsetftl frum ™ rr 
maJes nr female*—or had] conjuhHift. ..die fupv - ►. mjy be csilrdp m iurr. Jn *' 
teitrjl group Raymond FmK Primunr Economic 0/ ih* - VrtL ' Zr^mJ Aw™, 
E. F, IJutton fc Co. York, 1919* p. 

sniccmtr, r unctions, WWJU T H W or human social systems 177 
point through either or both lines, male and female, and to either «r both 
members of the original married couple. 

Ambilateral lineages arc most easily' demonstrated for Polynesia and the 
Northwest Coast of North America. They probably exist and arc sig¬ 
nificant in other parts of the world also, but because the concept of am* 
bilateral lineages has nut been a well-defined concept in ethnology, the 
existence of such groupings has not been generally recognized.” For 
our demonstration "of ambilateral lineages we shall select the Maori of 
New Zealand and the Kwakiutt of the Northwest Coast as representative 
tribes of diene regions, respectively- 
The Kw a kind-speaking peoples consisted of a number of trilxs bnch 
tribe was divided into sepiv 11 or /ua/iavm, to use the Kwikiutt term. 
A sept was a local group, a village community. All members of a sept 
reckoned descent, through either sex, from a common ancestor; a sept 
was. die re fore, an ambilateral lineage. 

The sept, unless very small, was divided into a number of sub!incages, 
ambilateral in structure, each of which reckons descent from its own 
ancestor, but all atibUncagcs trace their descent from the ancestor of the 
sept as a whole. The Kwakiutl appear to have no name for these sub- 
lineages; we shall cal) them Pin groups. The kin groups are divided into 
households, and tJrnsc in mm into families, 

The social organization of the .Maori is similar to that of the Kwakiutl. 
The trilie is divided into local groups, or septs, called hjptt. They are 
ambilateral lineages since their members trace their ancestry through 
either sex 10 3 common origin. 1 he kapti are divided into sublineages 
called ‘wbanaft, and these in turn into household groups and families. 

The Maori and the Kwakiutl differ in this respect, however: among 
the former, one belongs to the septs of both parents, whereas a Kwakiutl 
belongs to the sept of either parent, depending upon which lu« the higher 
rank and upon the order of his birth among liis siblings. 

14 Fruit Bom. a tm.lcm of KwikiutJ culture for forty-odd ynn, oer« P r w r ft J 
the concept cil uubikncrJ lineage •enneuav Sir recugitirt-J both ittunUniul and 
pimUneil feature* in their mwuI organization Bur iniread »( werog « iw what 
k wm. he interpreted the pretence of both patrfflncai UH»rflinwJ fcaram » «| 
indication that "the allegedly parrfliniil Kwakiutl... I had I (wnuMu. . .tnamluteil 
inker itoner from thrir jnitriHncd neighhon to die run*- - Murdoch, op. p. «&. 

■ Webster's Min JutcrtiaBiiiixl Dictionary defines w|>t j 1 : "i. In ancient *nii 
medieval civil orvanrtition of Ireland, « division of ■ min; or tiwih. having one or 
more ehith or lord*... parsed J of 1 given territory. (hung »* more ■/“""V 
plew villwe community, and owing allegiance *« ihe tribal tan*... J- ri«r/™pot 
A social group in which all ire believed »o hive descended from '*'>£* ****-„ 
These definitions, wiilt ■ few changer in wording, meh *1 "mUI chief for king. 
mioU quite ippUealrlc to tit* ambibTBal grouping*of Polynaa and rhe North- 
West CemS. 

17S FWMinvr OttnraV 

We may ^present the organisation of both Maori and Kwakiurl so¬ 
ciety diagrammatical Iv. as shown in Figure 7—J. 

The principle of rank permeates die entire social structure of both 
Maori and Kwsldilil Status and tank depend upon distance from the 
ancestor from whom descent is traced, the closer to the common ancestor 
the higher the rank- Lineages and individuals are alike graded according 

to rank- As noted previously, a numtier nf sublineages may he disria* 
jroished within a local group, or sepi These arc grade d according to the 
order in which tliev broke away from the main line of descent. The 
lineage in the direct line of descent from the common ancestor will have 
the highest rank. The first collateral line to break away and to become 
distinguished as a sublincagc, with its own ancestor, will rank next, and 
jo on to sTjbseijuenr sublineagts, as indicated in Figure 

The rank of an individual within a lineage, or sublincagc, likewise de¬ 
pends upon nearness to, or distance from, the common ancestor: the 
greater the distance the lower the rank. The structure of an ambilateral 
lineage and tiie tank of individuals comprising it are shown in Figure 7-7. 

Every one in the lineage traces his ancestry, through males or females 
or both. To the individual, «r married couple. A, at the peak of the pyr¬ 
amid. The various lines of descent, and the individuals comprising those 
lines, arc graded. The first-born child, mate or female. B, ranks highest 

STBUcrviir:. ftwcrioNS, muriav of human social syscems 179 

among Ills or Iter siblings the second-bom. C, ranks second, and sn on. 
The line of descent from a first-bom ciiild ranks abmc that of 1 second- 
bom. Bur distance from the common ancestor, in terms of generations, 
counts also. In the line of descent of first-born children, a person in an 
older generation ranks *bove one In a younger generation: D ranks abort 
/V. Blit any child of the secottd-bom child of the common ancestor. C, 

AnCEfilfif OF 
Ot tan EJPup tl 


And*s!df of »pt 
An£**tor of Mjbfinwgj 
gj km group I 

Ancs %\& of tubTipeap 
□r Kin ®rmip HI 

Ancsifiw cP s^blrfie^gE 

V kin group IV 

Bank of 


or tan £rtHipS 



Figure Rank of extended kin as dependent upon order of "braking 

would rank above die great-grandchild of the common ancestor in the 
line of descent through firei-bom children only: F find G would rank 
above H, Also, in our diagram, the line of descent BEK woidd rank 
above CGO tweausc B is 'the first br>rn of the common ancestor. A, 
u j, fr ,. n , c is the second-bom child. Similarly, EM ranks above GO lit- 
cause ¥ is rite firs* born of C whereas G is a younger sibling of E. Thus 
we have a conical structure of kindred in which rank is determined by 
two factors: {1 ) distance from die common ancestor in terms of genera¬ 
tion., and (i> die divergence of die lines of descent in accordance with 
the relative age of sibling. Tin line descending through first-bom chil¬ 
dren only passes perpendicularly from the apes of the cone to Us h*«. 
This is the highest line, the others descend in rank as their distances from 

the main line increase. . . 

As might be ejected, cmpliasis upon order of birth is reflected in 
kinship terminology. Among the Kwakiuti there arc special terms for 

l8o PRIMITIVE LT i n kL 

eldest and yfiuitgKi child; (he children of mother's or father i elder rib- 
ling* ire distinguished trom the children of their younger Hillings. The 
Mmri also make similar distinctions. 

Distinctions according to nnk find expression in named ind graded 
classes in New Zealand and on the Northwest Coast. They ate commonly 
called “nobles'* and “commoners": rttngat'rra, or wellborn, and lutta, 
low-born for the Maori; iixxtoh and qmwk, for noble and commoner. 

respectively, among die Kwakiud. The “nobility" among the Maori con¬ 
sists of persons in the senior line, i.e*, the line of direct descent, of each 
sept, plus a few persons very dose to it. Among the Kwakuitl, there is 
but one noble in the senior line of each sept or kin group; the title is per¬ 
petuated by inheritance, but only one person may hold it at a time. 

Ambilateral lineages, or ‘ clans as Kirchhuff proposes to call them, 
differ from unilateral dans—such -is those of the Iroquois or the Omaha, 
for example—in a number of significant respects, Unilateral dam ate 
esogammis; am bilateral groupings are neither c.sogainous nor cndngamotis 
bv customary prescription. AU members of unilateral dans hove the same 
status; all ire virtually equal. Inequality' dmractcriwss the ambilateral 
grouping', throughout. Ambilateral lineages arc cone-shaped; dans are 
cylindrical in structure. In ln>th types of grouping, however, in embers 
trace their ancestry mi common point of origin. But in die ambilateral 
groupings the genealogy is specific, whether actual or mythical; in uni- 
lateral dan organization, the relationship to common ancestor is generic 
and legendary. 

What is the significance of amhilateral lineages? Why, in the course 
of social evolution, have ambilateral lineages developed in some regions, 
unilateral lineages tn others? We suggest the following answer: 

smicnmB, rrscrroM, evqltttion nr human social systems iSi 

Ambilateral lineage organiiarmn is 4 meam of achieving or em- 
phiislzing integration m a local, community basis ntrher than upon an 
mia’crnnmttniiy, tribal hash. Tims. if suck factum aa topography, inode 
of subsistence, and defense-offense tended to divide a tribe into a number 
of relatively isolated or independent village communities they would 
tend toward eridogamous ambthtcraJ lineage cugankarion. If. however, 
i tribe consisted of ,i mini her of territorial bands or local communities 
anil if the mode of life—of subsistence and defense-offense—made inter- 
relationships and cooperation between these groups desirable, the tend¬ 
ency would be coward exogamous, unilateral lineages. In shore, ambi Literal 
Lineages express local community solidarity rather than intercommunity 
integration. The above explanation docs not say* nor should jr he liken 
to mean, riiat all relatively independent local communities mrist develop 
ambilateral lineages and rhar dt tribes composed of spatially distinct 
groups must produce unilateral oigani nation* Numerous factors are a I- 
ways operative in mputSwm of rfti* sort, and results will vary as the kinds 
and magnitudes of factors vary. Whit we have tried to do is to discover 
and isolate the factor or set of factors chat f ends to bring about an am- 
bilateral rather thtm a unilateral type of organization. 

[n support of our theory we rmiv note the following facts: Among the 
Maori of New Zealand, the villages were often quite isolated geograph¬ 
ically and independent political] v. Some were fortified- There was of 
course friendly social intercourse between villages, bur each community 
lived pixtty muds to itself. As a rule, says Firth, a village was held by 
-i single /jjpw r or amhil ucral lineage. The hapu was .i <ul>division of a 
tribe, bur, jx would appear, local, village solidarity was placed above 
tribal solidarity. Thu* we find all the inhabitants (with a few exceptions) 
of i village comprising a single hapu p *as a rule/ 1 Ex b significant to note 
jlso filar when \ village contained a number of h$pu , the sector occupied 
by each was marked nif by "low fences or palisade?!*" Here again, the 
hapu would seem to e\ press a local, or spatial. solidarity rather than an 
intercommunity or tribal solidarity* 

Iri the Northwest Coast* also, tillage organization was prominent and 
Important. A tribe would be divided among a number of village tom- 
ttimiirics, each of which w*$ relatively isolated from the others, and vir¬ 
tually autonomous politically, Hm% too, W:l1 solidarity' was placed above 
tribal integration. 

It might reasonably be asked. "Why, if local community solidarity 
rather than imcrcomniumcv integration k the principal determinant of 
wnhibtend lineages, dt> rise Hapi Pueblos for example, have unilateral 
rather than ambi literal, clans? ,+ We can only suggest an answer Every 
sociociilturaj system is three-dmiemional, so to speak; it has rime depth 
as well as length and bread eh. 11 te lri_xfOrv of PuebJo culture, os we piece 

i Fuat mm 

ir together from archaeological evidence, indicate* that the Pueblo cm- 
munUic'. ‘>i today are the rcstiit of a coalescence of j number of separate 
and 5m.-liter communities of former times; - 1 * a number of small—and no 
doubt interrelated—comm unities came together to form a larger town 
in order to defend themselves more effectively from attacks by their 
nomadic neighbor*! the Utes and Apaches, f he unilateral elan organ- 
Lzatiort that we find today was formed, we may assume, in earlier times 
lv hen a number of smalt, interrelated communities was the rale. The 
situation here may well Ire comparable to that of the Crow, whose nmri- 
lineal dan organization is explained by the fact that they once had a 
sedentary, horticultural mode of life as neighbors of the Man dart and 


We turn now to classes and their role in tire evolution of primate social 
orcanizattiMi. By a chit, to repeat our definition, we mean one of a num¬ 
ber of parts into which a social whole is divided, in which one part i'¬ 
ll u! ike another in structure, or composition, end function. .Men and 
women, adults and children, married, unmarried, and widowed arc cs- 
jiuples of classes of diifercnr kinds, of sc*, age, and manta] classes, re¬ 
spectively, Noble, slave or serf, and commoner are likewise classes in the 
sense in which we use this term. 

The social system of man’s immediate prehuman ancestors had a doss 
structure- It was divided into adult and immature individuals. Ditre 
were nules and females. And, we may assume, there were celibate males 
and mated individual-, of hot Is sC.ics. Each class had irs Own role, its own 
function, in the social life. T he articulation of one class with another 
in term- of their respective functions whs j means of social integration. 

The cb-res of anthropoid society were passed on to human society. 
But they underwent some transformation, a redefinition, in the transition, 
and thereafter became part of a process tif cultural evolution in general 
ami of social evolution in particular. In anthropoid society tire classes 
were indeed tofti I groupings, but they rested upon a biological basis 
and were wholly determined by biological considerations. In human 
society, some Hums rest upon a biological basis, whereas biological con¬ 
siderations arc irrelevant to class structure ,tr (it iter points And some¬ 
times the cultural deiiniriiui overrides rhe biological factor: an individual 
who ii a man biologically may be a woman sociologically, os we shall see 
later. In some rectors of human society there may Ire no correlation at 

" Arvhipsahijieal evidence of thii k suppluncntc-d by the Icgttuk. nr myths, of 
the Hojii. which jiicrtire the formation of the purtilu* of today by tire coming to- 
gccFict fll variant groups in rhe ptst. 

mt-cruRE, ftncttoks, evolution' or ftumw sch ivl system* ?sj 

all between biological differences and social cliss distinctions such as 
noble, commoner, and slave, Tn shon, in the social organization of prj- 
mates, (he class structure of inthropaid society is -i biological—-anatomical,, 
physiological. psychological—phenomenon; ra human waciety it is cul¬ 

Age classes^ Human society may distinguish more age categories rlian 
arc significant in anthrtjjmid society. Broadly speaking,, there Mere hue 
two age classes an song anthropoids: those who were able to shift for 
themselves and those roo young to do$o s TSierc seems in have been no 
class of the aged and infirm or helpless among subhuman primates The 
immature young were of course cared fur hy adults, particular I v the 
mother* but the aged had no one to support them and so disappeared from 
the scene when they could no longer care for themselves. In rnanv human 
sociciief, ton, the aged and hdptvs- art left t.> die unaided or are even 
killed. But in other cultural systems the aged ue cared for, and in Mime 
societies enjoy ,i higher status md * better diet than anyone else. 
Clarification according to age varies From one cultural system to iin- 
tiiliEr. In some, the newborn child is not admitted to society as a hum,an 
being until some days have elapsed. The ritual of naming o t dreimicisioii 
miglir mark the acceptance of a hnliy into the community. Weaning marks 
a new er.i in n child's life and becomes a significant milestone in some 
cultures, Puberry is almost universally a significant dividing line between 
child an d adult, and societies without number recognkc ami celebrate 
this event with ceremonial or rinial. Many tribes have initiation ccrcmo- 
nies which translate rhe youth intis an adult and full-fledged tribesman 
at this time. Marriage h another age threshold in some cultures. Then, 
after otic has passed the prime of life and has become old and fcebk r he 
may enter a new social class with its own distinctive status, high or low. 

In some societies such as .some of those of cast Africa nr the North Airctr- 
iean Plums, individuals or perhaps males only, will pass through a series 
of age grade* nr classes as ihty go rhmugh life. Thus we see fh;it societies 
may recognise few or many age grades or classes.. Almost ajl regard the 
crises of life such as birth, naming, puberty, marriage aad maturity", and 
old age as marking significant social categories Some systems have other 

Jfi mtdl clatter. In the society nf man** prehuman ancestors, according 
to our theory set forth in an earlier chapter, some adult males had more 
than nut mate md others therefore had none* With the advent of human 
society an equitable distribution of mates was instituted* hut s-tilI rhe 
dishes ’mased" and iL unmared hfc had significance, even though the fatter 
might embrace only those too immature for marriage. As marriage came 

104 i-KiMmvE rajttVKE 

mart ami mare to serve .r> !i merits of :il!tancc b«w«il groups of kindred 
in order to form larger cooperative groups, new classes were tinned with 
reference to marriage: (i) unmarried. (!) mated, (5) "widowed, and 
( 4 > divorced. Each of these categories became significant in the conduct 
of social life. The role assumed by each varied, as may be expected, from 
one cultural system to another. 

Sex cUiSii, In rhe society of man's prehuman ancestors, and in sub¬ 
human primate society generally, it would seem fair to distinguish two, 
and only two, sexes, male ami female. Anatomically considered, Piute 
and femk are biological categoric*. Bm with regard to social behavior, 
so Zuckemian tells us, a dominant female baboon may assume the rok 
of male in the pattern uf sexual behavior; ix, T die may mount a less dom¬ 
inant female nr even a passive male, as the dominant male does in the sex 
act. Abo. there is cansiilcrahk hminwcxilality aiming some, if not all, 
subhuman primate species. Wc see. then, dial eveu among the lower 
primates, a social tide of sex becomes distinguished from die anatomically 
defined sexes. 

In the human specie?, the distinctions between the social—or. rather, 
sociocultural—rok of sex and anatomical definition of sex are more nu¬ 
merous and are carried farther than among apes and monkeys. In human as 
well as subhuman species we lave two sexes anatomically defined. But the 
situation is complicated by the fact that a person nay be assigned to one 
category at birth and live as a memliet of tliar c!js-> for years* but even¬ 
tually lie transferred—often after surgery - *to the opposite class, discs [J f 
this sort ire nnr infrequent in our society today, as everyone knows. 

The situation is further complicated by the fact that for one reason 
or an01 her—biochemical differences or circum*ranees of social condition- 
ing—a person may change his sex at some time in his or her life, usually, 
k would appear, at or shortly after puberty. Among many primitive 
peoples a person grows op as a boy. but upon reaching puberty be adopts 
the costume and the behavior of women or the costume of 3 special sex 
categorv. the hrrJitehe. Cases in which boys abandon their sex are more 
frequent than those in which girts become men, apparently, at least among 
primitive peoples. The reason for tills probably is thir in many cultures 
the mode of life proper to men is too rigorous or too dangerous for weak 
and timid hoys. w> they become women, or berdachcs. upon reaching 
pLibertv father that) assume the life and roles of men, Cases of girls be¬ 
coming men it* not licking, however. 

Ill societies such as our own, which Joes not recognize a third, or inter¬ 
mediate mx, rhe tendencies which among primitive peoples find expres¬ 
sion in the itntitutiniis of berdach* or transvestite arc expressed in homo¬ 
sexuality in one way or another. 

stnvcruR^ rrs-cnriNs, r voluteon or human socui m ttvei rflj 

In. the human species sociocultural system* have to cope with the facts 
uf sex in all its dimensions: anatomical, biochemical and physiological, 
psychological, and sociological The primary task is one of clarification. 
Some ctiltiu .si jevki terns, arc content to rccogtiLce but two classes, nt.tlr ami 
female, in accordance with a normal, anatomical dichotomy- Other sys¬ 
tems, however* faced with the dUercjiandes between the anatomy of 
sex anil the psychology of sex—the adolescent boy who becomes a 
“woman " or a tronsvcsdte^rccognhSe an intermediate sex in addition to 
male and female. 

And in addition to the variations and complexities of seat already con¬ 
sidered* some sociocultural systems create a artificially, a neuter $ex, 
by castration of males.* 13 Kmiudvt were a significant social cLlm* in undent 
oriental cultures; we shall touch upon tiietr social rn!e$ bter mu Boys in 
Italy were formerly castrated m that their soprano voices might be pre¬ 
served for church choirs or die opera. 

But however a cultuml system may classify the facts of res, the cat¬ 
egories arc always culturally defined; i.e.* a man, woman, herdachc p or 
eunuch is a person who behaves in a certain way and has a certain dis* 
tmgnisiiJihtc roft in sodrty* These definition* may involve dres^ occupa¬ 
tion, and even speech—in some culm res the vocabulary of a woman differs 
from chat of a man ar certain points. The extern to which a sociocultural 
stem’s classification and definition correspond with the faces of 
anatomy, biochemistry and physiology, and psychology varies from sys¬ 
tem to system, A society tliat recognises only two sexes is in close accord 
with anatomical distinctions hue ignores, biochemical or psychological 
factors Cultures that have a threefold classification pay more atrefirion to 
psychological factors titan to anatomy. 

A sociocultural system's definition of man or woman will always in* 
elude Agrobiological and nonpsychotogicii] criteria. "A man is an adult 
person who behaves thus and so* might specify whether he could wear 
earrings nr not, wfml occupations he may engage in and those which he 
diould eschew, iuid even his choice and me of words. None uf these 
tilings has iny necessary relationship to rev sis a biological phenomenon; 
there is no biological reason why women rather than men should wear 
earrings, or why men rather than women should he permitted to smoke 
eigan. The irrelevance of hems of behavior such ^ these to sex biolog¬ 
ically considered is of course made Hear by the fact that cultures vary 
in their prescriptions and prohibitions; in some societies men tmy wear 
earrings and women may smote cigars. 

And En some societies the cultural definition of sex may override the 
fam of sex biologically considered. We have already noted that in some 

* if k only in riuidrm rahurci (hit feamfH hs* l s he ch nvriEifeii. in fomur timn 
amt in lower ctilmre.* Abomoti irul weft practiced bi lieu nf cutratiim. 

i $6 m s m mm c ultv Rf. 

kinship svsTcnK a man may he called M itinrhcr n and a woman, father. 
A man imv marry another man's foot Or a rreej a X'onwn mis marr% 
either women and become the "father' 1 of their offspring. Hie cacique, 
at priest-chief. among the Keresan Pueblos is a hiofngical roan, but in the 
neiurdigiouii life of the pueblo he is "everyones mother. 

Division of labor mJ ike ge-wtrir of occupational groups. The process 
of cultural evolution if! general juJ of social cwiiution in particular is 
one of progressive differentiation of structure and specialization of func¬ 
tion. and of integration on successively higher levels of development. 
Again we tttty note the parallel with the evolution ut biological systems, 
where we find the same aspects of the evolutionary process as those lisred 
here. This is not surprising, however, since culture is a mechanism brought 
imo being by a hioiugicul system and used by if tu perpetuate its existence. 

On law levels <tf biological evolution, we finil relatively little structural 
diffcrniriMiDn nnd spedalizaiUJii of functhst Same o( the lowest of animal 
organism have no specialized ami structurally differentiated organs of 
sew-*, Women inn, defense-offense, or subafatenec. As biological systems 
evolve, however, specialized structure* arc developed to perform these 
various functions. Thus, eyes, nose, ears, teeth, legs. fins. and *> ««- ^ 
developed. Specialized structures make life more secure because thev 
pcrfnnn rhe viral functions more effectively. The life process here ex¬ 
hibits its self-expanding, self-extending characteristic. An increase in the 
amount of free energy captured and utilized tends to increase the organ¬ 
ization of the structure: to effectuate further differentlytion of structure 
and greater ■ipcrializarinn of functinn. Then, as a consequence of rliesc 
specialized structures, the biological system becomes a unite efficient and 
effective mechanism for capturing and utilizing energy. I hus, each aspeer 
of the process stimulates and nourishes the other. Tire result is progress 
as well as evolution. As a consequence of structural differentiation and 
specialization of function, special mechanisms of coordination and reg¬ 
ulation must be developed ro preserve rhe integrity of the system. The 
nervous system is the principal mechanism of this sort. 

All the principles and characteristics of biological evolurion cited above 
are found also in the process of cultural evolution. Here again ive rate 
the correlation {.etween energy and the organization of a system, whether 
it be physical, biological, or cultural: the more the energy the greater 
the organization. On the lowest levels of cultural development, i.t., on 
levels where the human organism is the only source of energy exploited 
by cultural systems, we find a minimum of structural differentiation and 
specialization of function. By ttructvre here we include both technolog¬ 
ical, or instrumental, and -> octal structure. Thus we find few specialized 
tools, on the one hand, and few specialized social structures, ou the other. 


As culture evolves, however, special tied struct tires appear both ire tech¬ 
nology and in society, Life is mitlc more ceurc hy difftremiatiore of 
structure and Ypcdaltiarmn of function in the extmsotniitic system that 
u culture, as it is in biological organisms. Also, as in the case of the bi¬ 
ological process, we find in the cuh lira I process a condition of nutocatalv- 
ris. to speak, a stlf-stimulating sdf-evpanding process. Tccfmologiea] 
and social differentiation and specialization are increased by additions 
to the amount of energy harnessed and utilized, and as a consequence of 
differemiatjon and sped di/ation, cultural systems become more efficient 
and effective mechanisms for harnessing and utilizing additional an to tines 
nf energy. Evolution and progress result. Finally, to complete our com¬ 
parison of rhe cid t urological process of evolution with the biological 
process, \ic note that mechanisms of coordination aid coriLroh of Inte¬ 
gration. arc developed in the former as in the latter. 

The development of specialized rook and weapons is easily traced on 
the technological level of cultural development. On the lowest levels we 
find the smallest number of kinds of tools, and they are the most general' 
feed in structure and function, As we proceed to higher levels, the number 
of faffids increase, and they become correspondingly more specialized 
Tiic coup dc pohigr rhe principal tool on low cultural levels nver : very 
wide area ire the Old World, was a vov generalized tool, [t could be used 
for cuttings chopping, pounding, and scraping. In upper Paleolithic levels 
we find specialized took; scrapers, choppers, knives, awls, hammer^ 
axes, and wj on. The number of kinds of tools increases as technology 

We find almost no division of labor ire the sirdeijcs of .-tibhuman pri¬ 
mates tfxLiy, and we nay assume that ir w as nil bur lacking: among mauk 
3murediare prehuman ancestors. Infant offspring were nourished and cored 
for by the mother; rhe father took virtually no part in fhb work. Apart 
from this instance, which was of course biologically determined, there was 
no division of labor in the prehuman stage of primate social evolution. 

With the advent of articulate speech* however, division nf labor was 
introduced on a sociological basis and subsequently developed to a great 
extent. Division of labor and cooperation are obverse and reverse rides 
nf rhe some phenomenon, as we have already noted. In our discussion 
of the origin and development of kinship systems we were particularly 
concerned with their cooperative aspect; bur division of labor is equally 
present and rignificanr; the cooperation is effected, one might say, by 
the division of labor among individuals and classes of individuak To say, 
for eoatnplC' that one j.s required by custom ia bduve in siicli and such 
3 imrstm toward life uncles., in another manner toward Ids skiers, mother- 
Jn-taw f nephews, cutis ins, and m nre, respectively, and that cadi class of 
relatives in turn mmt behave toward him in a specified manner, is to 

tgtt pwMnnd ooiSrtwE 

indie Lite i thoroughgoing system of division o| Labor, Ir should be pointed 
out thar even instance- in which rlw acts arc identical in nature as vs tlt 
ns reciprocal, such as a man giving meat to Jus brother anil later receiving 
meat from him in return, arc examples of division of Labor as well as of 
cooperation. This example will serve also to reveal one of the important 
functions of division of labor, namely, the promotion of social solidarity. 
The exchange of goods or services of like kind benveen two persons 
be they relatives, friends, or neigh In in, whether in primitive society nr 
our own, is an example of division of labor between them. [Jut the func¬ 
tion and advantage of such a iypc nf division uf labor are social rather 
than technological. Such an exchange does not increase the productive 
efficiency of the society as a whole; nor docs a greater product accrue 
from such an expenditure of labor tlmn if each worked for himself, Bui 
the effect upon society of such a reciprocal arrangement may be very 
considerable indeed. It may he i means of establishing a friendly relation¬ 
ship which, once formed, will express itself in acts of mutual aid in many 
situations. Reciprocal exchange keeps alive a friendly relationship anti 
fosters cooperation. Tilts«mp!e exchange of goods or sen-ices is therefore 
a wav of binding persons to one another by ties that may be, and often 
are, powerful and effective. The world-wide custom of exchanging gifts 
is, as we shall set in greater detail tn Chaprer 9, "Economic Organisation, 
a good example of die promotion of solidarity through a reciprocal di¬ 
vision uf labor. We sec, then, thar a kinship system among primitive peo¬ 
ples i* .in elaborate form of division of labor time nukes life more secure 
bv making the society more effective technologically in terms of subsis¬ 
tence .inif defcitse-Gifcnse and by the promotion of social solidarity, 

Dhirien of labor along sex liner. We turn now to another form of 
division of Labor found iu all human societies ami which must have been 
inaugurated at the very beginning of culture itself, namely, division 
along sex lines. In every cultural system, men and women are distinguished 
from each other as clatter, which means tlwt. at certain points, they are 
distinguished by difference? of behavior. These differences are of two 
kinds, ritual and technological. Thus for example, women may be permit¬ 
ted to Weir earrings, while men are forbidden by custom to do so; tlus is 
merely a matter of social ritual On rise level, however, hunt¬ 
ing may be rratt’s work, while women gather plant food. An occupation that 
is assigned tn men in one cultural system may be con fined to women in an¬ 
other" or shared by both sexes in a third Weaving, cooking, milking, 
hoeing, and sm on, are masculine occupations m some cultures, feminine 
in others, and the occupation of either or both tn still others. Ir might 
seem from the great variety of custom that there is no rhyme or reason 
to division of labor between the sttci, at least at certain points. Hut if 


wc will keep in mind the iwiai function nf this device as well as its tech¬ 
nological significance, we believe ffut all lu forms cun be rendered intel¬ 

Let us consider, first, the question of the biological bash of the soda) 
division of labor between, rhe sexes in human society. Nourishing the 
[levdoping embryo, childbirth, and suckling infants are, as of course they 
must lie, the work of women only. But to what extent du these factors 
affect the division of labor between the sexes in other respecisr The ob¬ 
vious fact of difference of role in reproduce on has apparently led some 
writers to assume that child beating and suckling were rhe facion that 
have determined all divisions of functions between the sexes, at lease 50 
far 4$ utilitarian occupation is concerned. Thus they would regard the 
social division of labor between men and women as being 5 exits tty de¬ 
termined. as it is between male and female in anthropoid society. But this 
is to tike a rather superficial view of the matter, ft is of course true that 
pregnancy and the stickling of infants render women less effective in 
certain occupations than men. In the interests of group efficiency, there¬ 
fore, it would be advantageous Jo assign certain occupations to men and 
leave others to women. Hut to explain all such occupations differentia¬ 
tion fn terms of sc.\ and reproduction is to fail to appreciate other sig¬ 
nificant factors. Won ecu arc not pregnant or suckling children all their 
muture and active ycarv. There art long periods when they ire not so 
engaged, and some never bear children at all. 

Apart from their roles in reproduction there arc other biological dif¬ 
ferences between mcr* and women which would tend m bring about a 
dmuoTi of labor in the interest of group efficiency. .Men are, on the 
average, stronger and fleeter of font than women*®* Of risers two traits 
the htEcr is the more important, especially in the earliest stages of cultural 
development. Other factors being constant, it would be better for the 
sake of group efficiency* to assign men to die r isks requiring cofttideftihEc 
strength and leave the lighter work to women than to have each sex de* 
voted indiscriminately to both* But fieemess is a mom important factor 
in survival than mere strength. One can make up for a lack of strength 
by working a longer period nf time in such occupations as chopping or 
carrying wood. But in certain occupations one cannot compensate for a 

* WrrrJd terorcH, iren fiiici ! |jy [be Jnrcmllinnal Amneur A.Tb!r;£tr (■ rdcrathrtL 
OcUtber, 1^47. 5-btiw die maximum sjKizcti of ihe ic^es t* follim*; for iw yard*, men 
tM seconds, women io.H; for -jo yards, men jg.j seconds, utiiiKn 14-j. for SSo y afrit, 
mc fi 1 minute 40.j wrtmrdx, women t niinurcs (9.7 kcchuK h will be noted tfnir 
wflltWM approximate the speech of inert ftitfM closdy or* Eh? xprinn. sa ilic distance 
tun mcnajejp the inferiority of w oman beresm. Tin*. women require 15 per cent 
mope nmc ihia men to run ico vatii, 10 per cent more for the ind :ft p erni 
ntrifr: for the 88o. Perhups ceei mam ?%itincani k rite fact that the great'** diitance mu 
by ivoTUTfi 31 Ihted imung the^y noatdi k ft» meters wh«tii men m up to t§ mile*. 

ipo HAMtrra wLTum 

|.ick of speed h y running a longer period of rime. In hunting arid in war¬ 
fare 3 great premium » placed on speed; If yon cannot run fart enough 
to obtain your quarry, manning a longer time wLU do no good; anil if you 
are not swift enough to escape yntir foe, you get no chance to run longer. 
We find, therefore, a very widespread division of blrar between the wxw 
on very tow cultural levels that has bttJl determined to a great extern by 
differences in strength and fieetmess, particularly the latter. 

So far, then, the exceptional distinctions between men and women 
arc explainable in Terms of sexnd and physical differences, or in merely 
sexual terms if one wishes to cal! differences in strength and fteetntss 
secondary sexual characteristics. as would seem justifiable. There is still 
another occupational context in which sexual differences are sc least 
relevant. Tn many cultures women are debarred from certain occupations 
because they arcwomen. The "'horror" of menstrual blood is fairly wide¬ 
spread. and its many societies women, ar least prior to the menopause, 
arc debarred from certain occupation usually ceremonial, on this ae~ 
count. Whether, however, the aversion or fear of menstrual blood is to 
lie regarded as the mils? of their exclusion Or merely a symptom* an 
unconscious rationalization* of something else, is a question we arc nor 
able to answer definitely. Since die menstrual phobia k not universal we 
may conclude tliat it k a culturological rather than a psychological phe¬ 
nomenon. but what the specific cultural determinants are, we cannot say- 
It may be merely 3 sociological device employed in rivalry between die 
sexes as social classes tn win 411 advantage for ihc male sex. 

But division of labor between rhe sexes in human society cannot be 
explained wholly in terms of biological differences. Men are stronger 
and swifter titan women m an avmg€ t But. in any society, wme women, 
perhaps many, will be stronger or swifter than a certain percentage of 
the mot. ]f 4 therefore* division of labor were based wholly upon physical 
qualifications, we would find tome women m occupations in which 
strength or (kernes* is especially required and Itmic men tn occupations 
that are usually assigned to the “weaker sex, +l As a matter of fact, wt do 
encounter situations such as this occasionally. Among the Ktresan Pueblos 
of Ncv. Mexico women engage in r ic bborimis task of plastering a house, 
while old men tend their small children, But instances of this kind arc Ur 
from universal. As a rule, the hunters and warriors, and very often the 
herdsmen, are men regardless uf sex differences of strength or fleets ess. 
Furthermore, certain occupations that require neither great strength nor 
swiftness are exclusively masculine pursuits in certain cultures: weaving 
among the Pueblos, for example, was done by men almost exclusively. 
We must therefore look for some other determinant of the division of 
Libor between the sexes than the purely biological ones of strength and 
llectncss; we must find a social, or culturological, determinant or deter* 


Wu lisve already ajtt icjpj-tcJ tin: contingency in onr general discus- 
sin it of the social function of division of labor, Quite span from techno¬ 
logical efficiency, there i- ihc matter of integration snd solidarity. From 
flic standpoint of tccluiological cffcctiYera&x alone, 3 society would not 
attain ire maximttm effect!verier if it assigned women to certain occupa¬ 
tion* and men to others regardless of strength or Hcctness Hut this Ims 
b undoubtedly more than compensated for by the gain in sozhl efficiency 
fimered by the social division along sex line-s. Men and women constitute 
distinct social classes as well as biological categories. Division of labor 
along sex lines is a means of distinguishing, and empfmktng the distinct¬ 
ness of, social dashes. It b a means of promoting social solidarity by mak¬ 
ing each class necessary and complementary to the other, 

As: FUdcHffe-Brown ha?, remarked, in dkctiidng marriage and the fam^ 
Hy in aboriginal AustfaJm. "a man withtmr a wife is in an unsatisfaefr-rv 
position since he has no one 10 supply him nrguLirly with vegetable fond, 
to provide hk firewood and so on." Jr Similarly, a kai of New Guinea 
rakes a wife* says Lotvie, “because he needs ;i wo mm 10 make poc* ;md 
co cook his meals, to manufacture nets and weed hk plantations, in re¬ 
turn for which he provides the household with game and fish and builds 
the dwelling" w 

But why cannot the man provide himself with plant food and cook 
tib own meals? He £\w t of course, but it is to society's interest and ad- 
vanLtjTc to have a certain amount of interdependence among ire mem¬ 
bers; interdependence means mutual aid, and cooperation means greater 

The allocation of certain pattern* of behavior, both technological and 
ritaal, 10 men us a ebs and others to women ax a ckss lias a further and 
important significance in die context of social order and control, but we 
shall discuss tills more fully later under the heading of etiquette. 

Men and women constitute biological classes, dtsringnklifd fmm one 
another by anatomical and physiological differences, The social division 
of labor between them is based upon anj determined by biological dif- 
ferences to » certain, but definitely limited, extent. Men and women con¬ 
stitute wiai classes as well as biological categories, and a purely social or 
culturological factor operates also m produce behavioral ur occupational 
differences between them 

A discussion of division of labor along set lines would not be com¬ 
plete without some mention of eunuchs and Aurtfri* fo which we have 
already alluded (p T iS^), These arc men who have been desexed by surgical 
rocam. They constitute, therefore, a distinct sev category in human 

E A. R, RiJdifft-BroviJL "The Social Ojganjaaikifi of Australian Tribes .* 1 OreWa, 
rcl T > p 4iit m** 

*" R. H. l ciwit, FtimTtk* rev. csk, Untight puULiihmg Cuipantkm, New 

Vwk, 19*7, pp, 


society. somewhat sstialognus to rise ntuteft among some insect species* 
Ami they have spcckl social fartcriona, phy a significant role in die 
social division of tabor,. as a cornequenee of their sesuat—or nonscxaaf— 
character. Eunuch (Gr. turtoacb&S t guarding the couch) usually refers to 
functionaries in Oriental culmirs; cMtmi, 10 professional ^malc" sopranos 
in Italy. The chief function of 4 eunuch wm to take charge of the women 
in the harem of an OrienuJ potentate castration Itad peculiarly fitted 
hint for this task. But because of rhe intimate relationship to lik matter 
m which his duties placed him. the eunuch often Irccamc a confidant and 
an adviser to his lord. As a contequersct, many eunuchs came to exercise 
considerable political influence and power* HornctimeSt it appears, they 
served as generals and as governors of provinces. In Egyp 1 lllcr lcmfc 
eunuch came to be applied to any court official, whether a tfulruftw or not. 

In Italy, the practice of edit raring lioys In order to preserve ihdr voices 
for The pap) choir and other musical organizations flourished for a 
considerable rime* The custom was condcruncd by Pope Benedict Xl\ 
Since that rime there have been no c&Str&ti in the service 
of the church, but rhey continued to appear an the operatic vtage in Italy 
until the latter part of the nineicenih cenmty* 

The origin of the practice of castration is somewhat obscure. It U l*e- 
licved that the castration of domestic animals came lira and that rhe fk- 
*cxing of human beings followed in imitation. Southwest Asia seems to 
have been the place of origin, and ir must have originated at least as early 
js Bronze Aj^c times. Eunuchs have l>ecn most prominent in Mesopotamian 
cultures—possibly the place of their origin—bur they have flourished also 
in Persia, Greece^ Muslim cultures of Africa, and Rome, 'Hie custom was 
introduced into Osina in the eighth century bx* m 

SpCcialittf. The next instance of division of labor 10 appear in the 
course of social evolution occurred in the realm of ritual, namely, the 
emergence of the shaman as a specialist^* 1 

A shaman may E>c JdiiicJ as a person who specializes in matters super- 
natural by virtue of personal qualifications and initiative rather than as a 
consequence of being selected, trained, and delegated by society to per- 
form Such function*. We tlm* distinguish a shaman from a priest, who 
ako speridiiccv in miutcr* supcmaniraJ. A ihamtn assumes his occupation 
ijjwn his own inki drive and mpunrihilirici- lbs qualifications and ef¬ 
fectiveness rest upon Jm poratssitti of, or ability 10 manipulate, suptr- 

W CJ. Lcrtiu H. Gray. ^EmmStoT in EncjehpMdh 0! R*ti&pn md Etbk$ f J. Hid¬ 
ing! <cd.I, ret 191 j- 

Riifcljlr-llwtn calls "*ihe oliidi jifufcjacm In iht wUthL 1 " Preface 

to African Political Syntnn, Meyer Fortra and E, E- Erani-Fritthard fed*^, Orioni 
University Preia, London, P- 


natural power, with which he has !wen endowed in one way nr another, 
bv peculiarities of tempera men r or by some experience with supernatural 
powers, A person may or may not enter the priesthood of liis own 
volition, but in uny event he cannot become a priest unless society ac« 
cepfsor delegates him for this role. The priest's ability to trajfick irt super- 
natural power is acquired only by learning at the hands of socially au- 
T^ nrhj ti teachers; super natural I'isifutieins and endowments play no part 
lie re. The shorn on may have to learn certain techniques, too, bur merely 
as a mcarti of esc retting his own powers. The priest, on the other [tind T 
Ims no pow cts of Ills owtK be is merely one trained and skilled in the 
performance of sacred ritual. The shaman « a free lance; the priest, a 
person selected and trained by society to perform ccrain functions Or, 
to borrow a folk saying, shamans are bom, tm made, except by a personal 
ropemintral experience, and then only if they have the appropriate mn- 
peramenr. Pricsn definitely are made, not burn. Jc should be apparent 
that we are here mutiny logical distinct! rms nf function. F.thuological 
reality' corresponds very welt with this logical distinction, but run wholly 
iiihI perfectly; there is overlapping at some points* In some culture* it 
ruit;lir be difficult to ^iv whether a certain functionary was 3 s human 
or a priesr. In nurar i iterances however, this b rather easy. In any ease, 
the distinction* we have drawn with regard to initiative, source of ef¬ 
ficacy* ctcx, will he found valid and illuminating. Ir may lie said further 
in this connection that shamans and priests characterize broadly differ¬ 
ent levels of social evolution. On lowest cultural levels we find shamans 
hue no priests. On advanced levels, pnests tend tr> become prominent 
and important; shamans, to disappear or become insignificant . 11 

We may distinguish two fundamental categories of adjustment to and 
control over the external world: naturalistic philosophy and technology 

w Vnr-T* wtit proroincm: and very important in such eiilmm sr Hiw of preient 
Egypt mil virwpotamia and apparently 0# the tempi and Anect* where** iJLIE]Lana 
were fitaent or ivulgnifieaur. TEsc same it tmt of the ChrkritEn culture at Europe. k 
it nguifitanr to rmnc rlw, in rbc early yean of OirinM^i ffrt knirt* in nlipfl 
wxrc denounced hy die priesthood at "fake pnipJietsiH" and efinre wr* msde to sup* 
ptv® or di miju iE titcin. Lu kucct yan in the United Sr-irc*, however, there seertH 
to he i resurgences of $Jinm<inivm« Wtmra, for example, the efflorescence of coin nf 
many !fod%. Cmimk^ individual* nrr tbcmKlva tip *J free dan ct idttstfurm, or 
entrepreneurs, in rhe field iti|w; rnaiurJium—propheu, seen; Heakn, dispenser* <if 
Wtknq and w I ration, md whjf nut* Aa meh, theie uidi virtual* stand in mhvr 
diirp ccimrrssf with ^he profr^irHual dcrg% of an ewahliabed church, p-hafcssintutli 
who cui function nuty n a cisnicqumuf nf ipfodsd iiuiruvttuji bi ctcIfiiyticiE 
Kminarki mnl jifrer formal induction hv she ritual of nrdinarlun Ilk cflW«cnce 
f-f ihimamsm today k prdsbly to lie mrerprrsed as an indication of a wrakcmig of 
t±w radd iilu'd church n a mcchaniiTii of «od*l tnre^mtnn aad contrail of disintegri- 
tiofi of me orthodox isr mditiapal theologies* buz unioectfnpsmed by the develop-* 
m=nr of adequate secular inid^dnni and philosophies l» take their place- 

i94 PWlurnvs coi.Tv*t 

*n<] -sttpemadiral^tic pliildsopTly nfld magi^l rind- All vultures employ 
(>orh types yf mljuvnilent and control, but in varying propomons. I he 
iw.> typ« are related inversely to each other (he greater the amount of 
naturalistic, realistic knowledge, the more effective the meins of techno- 
IrtgiciiJ control, the less will lie tlic extern of supernatural ism and magical 
techniques, and vice versa. A* culture evolves, naturalism increases in 
philosophy and technique, stipe rnatumlkm diminishes. 

We find no supernatural tun at ail among subhuman primates j it is 
only the advent of articulate speech that has made this kind of behavior 
possible, li seems reasonable to assume itiat in the earliest stage of cul¬ 
tural development there was .1 generalized atui diffuse supernatural ism 
in the behavior of all members of society alike. An culture advanced, 
however, Le., js language and philosophy were developed as coumcr- 
paro of n curo-sc nsory-muscular experience, philosophy and behavior 
alike became differentiated. The matter-of-fact was distinguished from 
the mystical; the sacred from the profane. But at first rids distinction was 
confined to the behavior of each individual. I .iter the distinction ex¬ 
tended to society; i-e.. certain memtier. of the group were distinguished 
from others bv a special concern with Mipcniiniral activities. I hese per- 
sons were shaiiums* 

Shiii mini sin :iv j social process, is 1 form iff division of labor, fa a mat¬ 
ter of degree* A person may 1 * known a shaman* he may be dfa j 
tingii failed fran others hy a spccLdbtamm in magic* but ac the same time 
enguge in the occupation* of hfa fellow tribesmen of the some sex. As a 
matter of fact, shamans arc seldom, if ever, able to support themselves 
by the practice of magic alone. Usually they' derive hut n minor parr of 
their subsistence from their profession. When culture lias reached [he 
point where a port con of she population can be freed from the nece^iry 
of producing their own food, the specialists m snpcrtiatnralLsni become 
priests rather than shamans* 

Division of labor in the practice of magic arises from nvo sources: 
same individuals are berrer qualified than others; and the magical an he- 
comes ako j social function, which means interaction, complementary 
service, give and take. let us turn first to the qualifications of a shawm* 

Traffic with iSic supernatural world is by its very nature mysterious. 
Extraordinary abilities ore therefore required or are at least an asset. 
Epileptic fe, trances, bjUncin-irinn.^ and hysteria arc mysterious ex¬ 
periences. and hence eminently suited to communication with the super- 
n*rural world. Dreams iluring trances arc interpreted as visits to the 
land of the spirits; fits and hysteria a it states produced when a spirit 
seizes and possesses the body of the shaman. This conception is pre¬ 
served in our word "epilepsy 1 ' (Gr. epi T upon; kmhmo* seize), lienee 
neurotic, abnormal and unstable individuals arc better qualified for tbe 

smfccn;RE h rustrrtONS, evolution or human socwt smrMS 195 

profevriim of jdiamanisni tSian arc normal and st jlI>!i ptfto^ r T v lor 
long ago observed: *. In :i]| quarter* of the world flic orede*priests 
and diviners by familiar sparirs. seem really disused in body and 
inirid., p , PI ,= More recently. Lowie has commented upon the abnormal 
dimeter of the *hamam ' From Africa and Oceania, from Siberia anil 
Ticrra Jet Fucgo wc tints have evidence that shamans are either ab¬ 
normal or at least temporarily capable of paring into abnormal menial 
states.,"** 11 >c advantage of abnormality in Enfield ng with the super¬ 
natural world is further indicated by the widespread use of drugs liquor* 
fasting, self-term re, and solitude to produce temporary pathologic 
states as a means or a condition of supernatural experience. fhu:> wc 
see That some individuals are better ijuaii fieri to become shamans than 

Sfimc men arc better qualified to hunt and to engage in warfare than 
of hers, and yet wc do nor find division of labor among men in these 
fields of activity in tribal society'* Why, then, do we find if in the 
supernatural^tie arts? The answer to this question is threefold. In the 
first place, the differences of ability among men and women that set 
apart certain individuals as especially qualified for shamanism arc greater 
than those relevant rn hurt ting or warfare. Hunters and warriors differ 
in ability, to be ^mc. but only in degree; one is merely I tetter or worse 
ilian another. But the differences of ability and temperament relevant 
to shamanism are* as we have just seen, very ofren one of kind: abnormal 
versus normal. Some people hear only tlw voices of the external world; 
others hear voices of inrranrgankmjil origin, Hie same is true of 
visions. Some individuals, live only in a world of real or genuine sensory 
experience; oilier* live abo in .1 world of pscudo^rr^jfy experience. 
Thus, a distinct gap often separate-* individuals especially qualified for 
itantamsni from those nns so qualified, where** one warrior or hunter 
differs from another merely by degree. 

The second reason why division of labor appear! in traffic with the 
supernatural world before it does in hunting or warfare is that even’ 
able-bodied person in primitive societies mow engage In food produc- 
rion and in defense and offense; ir h essential for survival. Division of 
IiIjot ts rims impossible in these areas. In commerce with the mi per- 
natural world, however, division of labor is quite possible- 

And in the third place, the practice of the magical art* is to .1 very 
great extent a social function or process, which means di virion of labor- 
The shaman controls the weather* cures the sick, helps the hunter and 

B. Tybr, Antbropafogf, i£Bi k p. 

* TC ft Louie. irtircditciinw to Cultural Anthropology, nrv. e*T Rinehart & Ccm- 
pJny F \ttc^ j^ci. p. in Set alio Hutton Wdam'i ffocta&tn of duniauiun ind ilw 
ilmnmul in Mogk: 4 Soc&b&c- jJ Study t 195 !*, (>p- PJ7-“ 59 - 

19*5 pksiMmvr cuLttmE 

fisherman ubtuin food, aids and safeguards the warrior, and w on. <*- 
muiblY he is exercising control over the external world. His charms, 
spells rituals, and praphcnulia constitute a technology of a a 
pseudo technology as it were. Jusr as a hunter, warrior, or cniftsiian 
lays hold of the external world and bends and shapes it to Ins tv ill uv 
mans of tools atul weapons, so docs the shaman, in make-believe, do 
the same rlung with his paraphernalia and techniques. But an ethnologist 
who saw no more in the shaman’s art than a pseudo technology, one 
bused upon a false premise, would he almost as naive as the shaman 
himself. Tiie chief, nav entire, significance of shamanism is social and 
psychological. The rain doctor has no effect upon the weather, hut he 
docs have a very real effect upon his fellow tribesmen. So it is with al 
his activities. Make-believe his rituals arc, so far as the external world 
U concerned. But lie has an effect, often a profound one, upon men, hi* 
foes as well as his friends and kinsmen. And this effect is real. 

The characteristic situation in which appeal t« magic is made b a 
trrmt, A drought, j storm, an etlipse, flunger, a menacing foe. crtrioi 
jllflKi, these are the occasions in which primitive peoples turn to t|w 
gntls and magic for help. A crisis situation is one of unstable social 
equilibrium. The security of life is tlirttircncd. The normal flow of 
events is disrupted. Apprehension and fear may grip the community; 
panic or the paralysis of apathy tuny ensue. 1 he emergency calls for 
decisive action, but what is one to do? Disintegration stares them us 
the face; society is "going to pieces." leaving the individual in the 
stark terror of riuticne* and impotence that animals other than primates 
feel when bereft of the herd with its refill ranee and supporr. 

Here is w here the shaman Comes tn rite fore. He steps liuldlv forward 
and confronts the crisis face to face. He uses his potent charms and spells 
against t!w danger; he subdue it with ritual, fetish, and song, ITic ex- 
rer?ul world folltjwi its tuniral course in its own wa ) f » quite ob¬ 

livious of the grimace md chaster of the puny primate who uttens 
defiance And pretends to control, But what a difference 10 Ids icllou 
tribesmen the little drama of the shnnun makes! It rdtito their tension* 
provides an outlet for pent-tip emotions, The ritual h action* and my 
jetion is better than none. The shaman gives them assurance mil cour- 
me; a sense of power returns, But most of all the shaman reunites iht 
community tn the performance of a ritual for them a!! md which each 
one may share, in spirit if not in deed. Equilibrium i» restored* solidarity 
tmtabliHhed; each individual safe and secure again in fftc protective 
embrace of the community, the herd. This is the function pir excellence 

of the sltaman- _ . 

Division of labor is inherent in the magical practice of medicine A 
man may feed Jiimself or defend himself from his foe* but ht can not 

xmiscnmi^ ruxarwb% kvolltion of human social system?, 197 

very well treat hirmdf medically** 1 If we tike magic at j& fate value, 
then j person could treat Elis mvn ilJnc^i magically jusf os he can catch 
a fish for hti supper or defend himself from an enemy* But uc would 
be naive to accept the shaman s c^tiraare and interprciamm of Ids pro¬ 
fession. Beside, when one is critically til he k in m> eofidkiim in engage 
in magical ritliik. 

A person *trieken with disease nr severely wounded is in 3 crisis 
situation. He fact* uncertainty and is full of foreboding and jppre- 
henriou. His illness tend* in isobie him from hb fellow*, from the herd; 
the bonds qf solidarity weaken. Fear overtakes him- hi* helplessness 
oppresses him, Here also the shaman ptrfotrm a valuable service. Once 
again he attacks the problem head on. If witches have caused the illness; 
he drives them away* l tc placates ghosts* gods, and dbgrumled ancestors. 
Stolen stmh nr hcans tire retrieved. With song, fetish, prayer, and ritual 
he restores the confidence of rhe sick one, gives him eoumge to 
his Way back to health* assures him of succor The psychological effect 
may be tremendous and acttulJv beneficial* 

Not the feast of the shaman s treatment is manage. Quite apart from 
any physical effect that stroking the body may have, the psychological 
effect may be great. Grooming is a most satisfying practice among 
primates and nnimab of other orders Jove to be petted and stroked 
also. Bodily contact k a way of matting spiritual connections, of premium 
ing social eohc.sinn. The 'laying on of hands” b a physical form of a 
Spiritual transaction- the hand cUstL a physical medianism of social 
solidarity. In ttmes of crisis a gentle pressure from a friend or comrades 
(wind can be snore dequeue and expressive of compassion and assurance 
than any words that tongue can speak. So it is with the shaman ami 
hb manage. IV’ith this means he establishes contact with the sick one* 
isolated on his couch, and unites him with his fellow mail once mort¬ 
is potency of the medicine matt or wizard is indicate J by the actual 
efficacy of Ids treatments, an rhe ant hand, and tiis ability to kill oft 
flic Other. Many a mart Iiai Iain down and dial because he knew that a 
powerful wizard was working magic against him.* 11 
Shamanism originated m iraJfic with the iupcmatural world. But 
It j nog become a distinct dement of soda I structure, it is easy fur 
■shaman* (o actpiire rumniagk-fll function?. In many societies medicine 
nsen serve is iniegrativc t directive. uml regulative inccluntim;.. They 
muy 10 it That omom is observed and may punish offenders against 
h. riicy may rake the initiative in organizing or directing community 

**!n nnr dietery i phyiician wilt frequently die strvict^ of mother doctor 
larlirr dim inut hintirlf qr £tci hit chHthm 

“Cf, W_ a. Cannon, ^Vlh itlwi l>oihr Amtrma jfmbfap&Ioxui* vqJL 44, pp. iic%- 

sNi« r^p. 

i^S MlMmVE CUl.TL'ItE 

activities. To be sure, the supcrmninEnic md the secular functims of 
the shaman may be, s.ul often ate. combined in a given situation But it 
U important to recognise the acquisition of pinJy «cnlir 
functions in addition to his role in affairs supernatural. We shall *e 
liow these functions grmv and become very important among the pnesr* 

hoods of higher cultural levels, , 

Among the social functions of the shaman must be listed tiioK ol a 
dramatic and recreational nature also. As Durlihdm observed, the 
rituals of tlie shaman and the ceremonies directed by him often have 
dramatic and aesthetic features which are enjoyed for their own sake. 
Thus, natives of die arctic, in Siberia and America alike, often pass the 
kins? evenings of winter witnessing jhamarustic performances, l lie lire 
anj"sword jugglery of the Pueblo medicine men have a dramatic qual¬ 
ity enjoyed bv spectators for its own sake. So it is with many icatures 
uf the totemic ceremonies of Australia the dramatization of episodes 
in mythology, the writing and elaborate casmmes and face and body 
paintings, the Songs and dsocev These magical rituals, performed under 
the direction of the Jlttfw/J, the slumanistic head of the totem group, 
are also powerful and absorbing dramas. 

Thus we see that occupational specialisation appears first in the magi¬ 
cal arts. Specialization appeared Itcre before it entered the technological 
arts and crafts, first, because division of labor was fostered by tem¬ 
peramental differences among individuals, on the otic hand, and tiecause 
specialization in magic was possible before it could Ixe effected m 
redinology. and, secondly, because shamanism is actually, though not 
in native theory, wholly a social process, whereas hunting, fishing, war¬ 
fare, and manufacturing arc technological processes first and only sec¬ 
ondarily sociological in character. Shamanism as a social process not 
only could be, but had to be. a division of labor at the very outset, 
whereas specialization in technologic contexts can appear only upon 
certain and relatively high stages of cultural development. 

On higher cultural levels, particularly in civil society, we shall sec 
the priest taking the place of the shaman, but performing all the same 

Occupitiiorijt clatter. Between the emergence of the shaman as ,1 special¬ 
ist and the origtn of metallurgy we find relatively Unite division of labor 
along technological lines. To be sure, there are beginnings and even 
modest developments of specialized craftsmen here and there. In ’Serrot 
societies vve may find a few persons who specialize in the manufacture 
of arrows, bead or quill work, or some other article. In Polynesia, there 
**F. Durltheim, The Et emtmu r y Form: oi the Reliniaut Life , J- Swa&i 
*$if. PP- 


were specialists in woodeamng, canoe ant! hmr-c building, w.ttoohig, and 
in the manufacture of adzes, i hese men were engaged bv others who paid 
diem for thdr Services with a “gift'* of food* apparel, or something else 
of value. It would appear rime most of these specialists devoted but a 
minor fraction of their time to working for others, although a few re¬ 
nowned woodcarvers or rattooers might be so occupied the greater part 
of their rime. There was a tendency in Polynesia also for specialization 
in a craft to he hereditary* Thus we find the beginnings of specialized 
crafts in societies organised on the basis of kinship, but they have de¬ 
veloped only to a slight degree. 

h is not, however, until the arts of subsistence, or more precisely, die 
productivity of human labor in the production of food, his readied a 
point where a feu or a considerable portion of the able-bodied members 
of society cun be divorced from the production of food that the forma¬ 
tion iA groups or diiSirv of specialised artisan* become? possible. But 
when this time has arrived, society has already begun to shift from Lin- 
ship to property relations jk the basis of its organisation and 3 new type 
of economic organisation h in die making. The metallurgist is die fir^t 
of the true specialises of this era; other and older crafty such as weav¬ 
ing, stone working* carving, end so on, soon become independent crafts 
also. In short, there was relatively little division of labor along techno¬ 
logical lines prior to die Agricultural Revolution, prior 10 the develop¬ 
ment of dries. After that time, dt(fe ten rial ion of social structure ami 
specialization of function along technological lines were rapid and cr- 
«n$ivc. We shall return to this subject in a later chapter. 

Rml\ Many, if not most, societies of primitive peoples, i,e>„ those bused 
U |wn ties of kitisltip h are characterized by no equality of status of thdr 
members. lo some, however, inequality prevails. The societies of Polynesia 
and die Northwest Coasr of America arc perhaps the best example of 
>odaI inequality among social systems founded upon kinship. Here we 
have three classes* commonly called “nobles*" “commoner*/ 1 and "slaves-* 1 
But these terms arc misleading, and confusion and unwarranted con¬ 
clusions have come from their use. There is a tendency to equate the so- 
called nobles and slaves of these cultures with the classes hearing these 
names in European cult tire. There are* to be sure, some points of simi¬ 
larity, But the similarities are quite superficial, whereas there is a pro¬ 
found and fundamental difference between the doss structure of Poly¬ 
nesia or of the Northwest Coa*r* on die one hand, and that of Europe, 
on flie other. 

The eJiiszi system of Polynesia ond Northwest America resembled thar 
of Europe m matters of attitude, ^ntiment, and social ritual. Nobles in 
borii types of culture primitive and modem, had high social status, 

ZOO rtawtffv® CULTURE 

were treated with deference, were distinguished by certain marks, set 
apart by certain observance, and * on. The sr>-cd led slaves of Polynesia 
ami the Northwest Coasr. like the true slaves uf Europe or the Limed 
States, had a definitely inferior status, in short, so far as the ritual and 
ins tenia of social intercourse I ice ween noble and slave wxrc concerned, 
the class system of these preliterate people* resembles that• 

Europe. Or one tnihr say. they resemble each other m forvt. When we 
tom to content, however, to the basts Upon which the class systems 

rested, we find a fundamental difference. 

Jn European culture rhe class system was based upon property re a- 
tion< The noble was a landholder, the serf belonged to the LrmL Hie 
relationship between noble and serf or between master and slave was 
one of political power and economic exploitation backed, of «j U1 ^ 
by military might. It was an arrangement whereby one cla-s could live 
by the labor of another. In Polynesia and the Northwest Coast this »'* 
hue the cse. Here rhe “slaves”'were for rhe most part war captives. In 
warfare, the life of the vanquished belongs to the victor; he may ttc LiNed 
outright, enslaved, reduced to vassalage, or saddled with reparations 
and tried for “war crimes” Some primitive peoples took captives in 
warfare. In some instances they took them borne to be put to death hv 
prometed and ingenious torture, as was the custom of the Iroquois «w 
Other eastern Indian tribes; or they might be kept around the village in¬ 
definitely as permanent prisoners of war, put ro work at menu] las’, 
and treated with contempt- Time and again in the literature these indi¬ 
viduals Mrc termed "slave." and the conclusion has been drawn that 
"primitive society was dot democratic but was widely characterized by 
rhe institution of vlavery." v 

It t> mie that slaves, in the of "bnauo chattels.” do exist m some 
ore lire rare cultural systems. Hut they are either culture* which have 
definitely* evolved beyond kinship as rite basis uf tribal organization amt 
base already developed a number of features of the political state, as 
in the case of mutic African nations, nr they are societies v,liich engage 
in a slave trade initiated and sustained by a Higher culture, such as a 
few- instances in the Northwest Coast, Luzon, and. again, in ptts of 
Africa. But to call captives of war among trilws organized on the basis 
of kinship "store*" is to coctftne two quite diffeienr social categories. 

in many instances in primitive society captives of war, if not token for 
torture, were incorporated into the tribe by adoption or marriage, am 
consequently rheir children would be free. In other cultures, however, 
such as those of Polynesia ami the Northwest CdWt. captives were kept 
as an interior social class with whom marriage was forbidden or loo c 

“Cf, fi. H. Luwk, Ftimhritf Satiety, rev. vd. Ures^fj* PublwlMug Corporaoi*. 
Stuck ind Cold library, New York, iw’- PP- l^-SVO 


down upon. They were set u* menial asks, although they were not 
alnrte in ihts respect* They could Ik killed at ^ ill hy their mitfttra since 
die* hs3iJ forfeited thdr lives ac the time of capture. These are die persons 
so often cited as demonstrating iliat “slavery" is widespread in. primitive 

lint till* slavery, sd culled, differs fundamental!* from the ownership 
of human chattels in modem Western civilization* “Slavery among the 
Iftujjp," says Bartur^ Hi wa$ nothing like slavery* as Li has existed among 
our own and other peoples,., f italics supplied]/ i4# ilerskovits cells m 
that “slavery... is widespread in primitive societies," but adds that "it 
was rarely the type of Institution rr became in the Western world in 
historic Tillies.'" iU Description* of die life of **ski“es >F in primitive ^nrictics 
make it clear iliac they arc noc at all comparable to the human chan els 
of modern Western culture. In general* they lived very much as ilirir 
masters, the ducts and “nobks," did* They often lived iu the house, 
worked :tr the -arnc mks, and site the same fond-.. The " relations between 
,. - [slaves] and their masters'’ among the Maori were, according to Firth, 
“easy a ml pleasant/’ They “did the mcnbU work, but were well fed and 
housed/ 1 M 

Among the Tlingir and the Haida, according tu Guldenwtiscr, a rit»- 
dem of Unas fan authority on culture* of the Northwest Coast> “the 
economic position and drily lift of the [slave! docs not greatly differ 
from that of his owner, The slaves live in the houses with the other [ieo* 
pie, rhey ear with rheni, work* turnr and make war on a par with the 
others* It is only on occasions where social prestige and ceremonial pre¬ 
rogatives are involved that the disabilities of the slave become conspicuous 
I italics supplied] Viola Garfield imlmsa similar appraisal of “slavery" 

among the Tsimshiim/ 2 

Among trif>cs of northern California “slaves' 11 functioned in s concept 
of prestige rather thin of political bondage and economic csplniration. 
Among tiic Tokma and Tututtu. says Cora On Buis, “slaves were nor 
taken in \vir T but were acquired through unpaid debt/* ^ Bue “debts 

“ft F. Barton, H lht^o EnmmuksT Umkrrtjfty of Conform* Putiimtem m Amer¬ 
ican jfofbBiotQgy <md Etkncfozyi vo|. ij, p, 41 9, 195*. 

"■M J- Hcnkorta, Tbt Economic Life of prindth* PwpUt, A fired A, Knopf, 
Iim:- York, jt. pi- 

- Raymond Firth, Frmtim r Economics of the S'tw 'Zt JthnJ Maori, fc. P. [Xnron A 
Inc,, \>w Yotk, iQ^ b p, 95. 

,J Alrumir: Guyctiwiiw, Earl} Cre'ifejNcm, Alfred A- knepf, Lnc-t *9:1, p. 
"VioJ* GarUtclJ, "TdEnshian C\m ami Society," Uflivtrmy of Wuhmgmn Pu&- 
Mins tn Anthropologyx vof, no. r, p, 1919. 

"On flu ilok “The Wealth Concept it an fntegnithT Factor in Triowj-Tutuml 
Cullan" in h\ Anihtopol&gy Fm*‘ rrO'J tu p A. L jjfrwrArr* University uf Ctdb 

ioTrua Press,. Berkeley„ Qdtf-, 19)6, p- $5. 

JOJ primitive culture 

could be incurred only in the reahn of presage economy " 1 *. as a ™'»c- 
mi cnee of a ritual of soda] inrercoiine. not at the result of subjugation 
and e \p|oiiatiun. The “slave” was 'nut a source of income- llu starts 
svas anmoritmttfy that of a poor relative. In reality slavery was almost 
* fnno of adoption.” In fact, Du Beds, 'ho apply ihe term slave 
to 4Ui; | t individuals. in reality a misnomer." Again, slavery' turns 

mil to be not slavery after aM. . 

It would be well to recall ar this point that m both Polynesia and rue 
Northwest Coast great emphasis is placed upon rank, as we have already 
seen in our discussion of ambilateral lineages. Those who stand closest 
10 a„ WB |ted ancestor in the direct line of descent have the highest «atu* 
or rank; those farther removed have correspondingly lower status Cap¬ 
tives of war thus fit easily into ,1 pattern of social inequality. Ran-, «, 
of course, a matter of codtrtfitt of status; no one can be a king without 
subjects. A mass of commoners is necessarily implied by a class or great 
chiefs or nobles. Uv the same token, a class of slaves will scree to ue- 
cemuate the status of chiefs and nobles. And we find slaves performing 
precisely this function in Polynesia and the Northwest Coast; they serve 
to validate the social position of their masters. The noneconomic character 
of the institution of “slavery” is revealed when a Kwikiutl chief, Mr 
example, will kill i slave merely to demonstrate his high sarus- H t™* 
slaves were “property making macliines . 1 to use Morgan s renir, ami i 
the status of the noble depended upon the exploitation of serfs or slave, 
as ir did in European culture, he would lower his stanis by killing a slave 
since his wealth and power—and consequently his social position— 
would be diminished by so much. Louie eliminates utilitarian and eco¬ 
nomic factors from an interpretation of r ink add class in Polynesia and 
points to their mythological and ritual character. ' 1 rite existence of "true 
economic slavery in native America is in doubt," sap Steward."" and u e 
tvnuld say rhe pamt for Polynesian Flic social strain of the PaciiiL tsLin s 
and of the Northwest Coast, defined in terms of descent from mythicj 
or legendary cods or men, were part, of an elaborate social game played 
in these regions. “Slaves," “nobles” and “commoners" were pbyers, or 
teams of players, in this game. 

To speak of the social system of the Maori or the Kwakmtl ;is a 
"game" is not to say that ir was devised and arranged of their own choice 
or free will, or to sty that it was determined intraorganismically. tl,c 
rules of 3 game such as pinochle or football are, rather than by factors 
in the external world. The social systems of rbesc tribes, like thrive of sn\ 

“R, H, Lou ie, rtwftfce 5 witty, 15H7, jjp. haroJttetkm to Ct/iwol A*- 

ibropotogi, iH+O, n. 173. ,_, 

•Jutiin H. Steward. “Cultural Carnality uid Uv," Amman AniL'top°l<>S l,t < 

vol ji, p. )i, 

rrRVcrwr* ruxcnoN^ r.vot.urioN or human social svsnAfi 103 

ether, were Grays of life inrun itcly connected with their tcthfiological 
adjustment to rhetr habitats and with thdr relations, technologically 
t^pmsed, with their neighbors. In other words, >od,d npgttmzfttmrc here 
a* elsewhere b 1 function of the mode of subsidence and of defense ami 
offenw, Nevertheless, much of their suds! life was conducted in ac¬ 
cordance with certain rules, like those of conventional game* Wc ci tc 
ihc following mmpttt presented by Raymond Firrh: Person; of certain 
rank could not feed themselves; the menial work of preparing and serving 
fond had to he done by persons of low stalls. Slaves had no tfptt. and 
lienee were preeminently suited for this sort of work. 11 A chief might 
conceivably be surrounded by food, and yet starve if no slave were at 
hand" On one occasion of a war, one party carried off ilw women 
and slaves of the other side. 'The warriors of the latter, bereft of all who 
could feed them! were obliged to sue for peace / 1 fli In much the same 
spirit, or principle, we note time in some cultures of the Northwest finest 
only free men and women could have artificially deformed head*; slaves 
were denied this mark of distinction> 

Clares based upon drained; ms of status, dividing society into “higher ' 1 
anti "lower” strata, are relatively rare in primitive society. It h not until 
kinship has ceased to be the basis of social systems and society has become 
organised upon the basis of properry relations find territorial distinctions 
that mse classes of subordination and superord] nation come into being. 
With the advent of civil society, classes of starcw become prominent and 
of prime importance in the conduct of social life. 

Sp&ckl Structures 

By fpi'iijJ structure we n]nn a structure within a sociocultural system 
htving a specialized function. The sum of the classes, or segments, of 2 
society is exactly cquaf to the whole; society as a whole h subdivided 
into a number of classes or segments leaving no remainder. Rut a special 
structure is merely a differentia ted part of the social whole, differentiated 
structurally and functionally; the sum of special stnicrur&i is nor equal 
n> society" as a whole. In biological * vs torn a or stomach is a special 
structure. In sociocultural systems dramam, chiefs, kings. parliamcnti* 
ptdice r ire special structures, In societies based upon ties of kinship the 
number of such structure* h few ami their development relatively weak. 
It is only on the higher levels of cultural development, especially in the 
culture* produced hy the agricultural revolt!lion and in the mote recent 
systems of the fuel era* that specialised mechanisms of social Integration 
and control become nutnerous or play a prominent role in the conduct of 
social life. Since the signiticjnec of special structures lies in their co- 

up, clt^ pp. 

jo* miMtnvr. cultoiw. 

Wdinativc, imcgmtivc. directive, and regulative functions, wc shall dis¬ 
cus diem under the heading of social control and integration, rather 
Thim here under social structure, or anatomy. 

In this chapter we have considered the aspects of pqniiHve sociuctd- 
tural rawnt that Herbert Spencer liked to colt 'morphoUigy sml 
pltvsioloov." i.c-. flic stnicrurc and fmtcrjonjitg of human social systems. 
\vi have viewed these aspects in evolodonary perspective as well as in o 

(Kintaiiporal context, , , , . 

We have e Kami red the various kinds of social segments found in stag- 
of cultural development—famflies. lineage dans, and moieties, ft? well 
H rite so-called Australian marriage classes, or secnmi>-and have en¬ 
deavored ro show how rhev have cutne into being and how they functmti 
m the system as a whole. We have discovered in the process «»f segmenta- 
rion ait important principle: segments are means of achieving arger 
organizations, on the one hand, and of intensifying internal cohesion, nr 

social solidarity, on the other. . - . 

Wc base noted the various kinds of classes ciaat in primitive society- 
Wc have discovered the bases upon which they rest and terms in which 
they are distinguished and defined. The ways in which classes are related 

to one another were considered also. 

The concept of special structure was introduced. But since such struc¬ 
tures have functions of integration, regulation, and control almost ex¬ 
clusively, we reserved discussion of them for the following chapter. 


A wdety k marc than a mere aggregation of individuals; ii k an organizs- 
tian p j system. It is a cmnpkre and autcmuinnijv whole, rather than a 
pare of ■ system We would therefore cal] a tribe or a nation a society, 
but a dan, a guild of arasam, or a das* of noble* would lie hut a pan 
of a society, A satiety, or social system* i$ composed of pjrts—individitak, 
segments, classes, etc,—each of which is related to alj the others, the rela¬ 
tionship of pari to part being determined by the relationship of pan to 
whole* Societies may Ikt human or subhuman„ Urge or small* loosdy or 
highly integrated- They may be homogeneous or highly differentiated 
structurally, specialized or umpcciahzcd functionally. The concept of 
society" embraces, therefore, rhe whole realm of living brings, plants as 
well as animals* and all social systems, from the simplest, swell as a colony 
of single-celled organisms, to the most complex civilization tn the world 
today—or tomorrow. 

One of the basic questions in any general consideration of social sys¬ 
tems Li* ls irA<jt bolds sockiiei together? Why do individuals form and 
maintain relaiioniliips widi otic another? How are they able to achieve 
unity among diverse and even conflicting elements?'" tor societies arc 
made up of individuals, each of vvJiich has his own ins crests and is there¬ 
fore opposed to each of his fellows at certain points, t|^ in the saris- 
facdon of food and sex hungers. Moreover, some societies are composed 
of classes whose interests Tike wise differ and clash. I low* there fore, 
are diverse and conflicting element to be integrated into a stable and 
orderly system? And how is the continuity of inch a lystem to be 
achieved? Finally* how and why do some' social iy&ttM, specifically 
thus&e of human primates, evolve from small, homogeneous struciures tu 
large, differentiated, and specialized structures? These are base questions. 

The problems of social organization confronting the sociologist a re 
like, in kind* the problems with which the physical scientist or biojogbi 
has to deal. What holds a nebula together? Why do not the stars compos¬ 
ing it diffuse uniformly throughout space? What holds! rhe solar system 


:u6 HUMitivr tori.TVHf, 

together? A drop of water? Ora moJreute or art arum? The nucleus of 
an itom is compel of parts held together by rremcrulom forces which 
are totbv but little understood- The atomic nucleus can be rent asunder, 
but only bv tlic application of tremendous forces- 

Turning (O biologv T a eel! is -1 tnatenal. physicochemical. system. What 
bolds iT together? A cell is a tiny droplet of fluid encased hv jelled 
membrane. ]» integrity and its existence depend 'largely on the different 
proportions of inm inside and without the cell. If one cuts an amoeba, 
-swimmiiit® about in 4 h tala^ccd M solution, with a microscopic gkiss 
knife, "protoplasm starts tw flow out through the wound, As the sot 
conies in coniaet yviih rhe new ions it gels, a fresh membrane forms, the 
outflow stops, and in a *hun time rhe amoeba is entirely normal igJiiB* 
Nnw add eitra poturiurtl 10 the outside salt solution; again make a cut. 
The sol starts to poor out & liefote, but no gditioD occurs. The proto¬ 
plasm continues to stream ouf* spread* into the water and vanishes, until 
the amoeba U cnrirelv dissolral'' J What Isolde .e colony of singic-celkd 
snunuls together? Why do they nut live zi random, each for itsdfr How 
arc metazoans formed. and how arc they able to evolve into higher 

We shall* of course, leave these questions to their propel students. 
We raise rhem only to place the study of social organization in its correct 
context. A society b a material system* an organization of material hodies- 
This is true whether we arc dealing with oak trees* fungi, bacteria, 
sponges* ants* bears, baboons* or men. And the question “What holds 
systems together?" is as fundamental rn sociology a* it is IP hiologY. 
chemistry, and phvsics. A forcer one might say* relatively weak in h”^*- 
knit societies* but powerful in highly integrated groups, holds living 
material bodies together. We have no name fur this force unless we call 
h solidarity. In physics it b cal Jed gravitation in the realm of huge 
bodies, attraction on the level of the minute- What its name* if any* is 
in biology, we do not know. 

In primate societies the attraction between individuals is very strong* 
All primates live, so to speak, in a powerful gravitational field which 
not only unites them into a system* but which makes fife apart: from ihc 
system all but impossible. Apes one! men alike normally die of loneliness 
in isolation. Solitary confinement is one of the must severe forms of 
penal discipline. In human societies, imbvidunU may give their lives tot 

'R W Gerard, UwtMthl% CVftr, HuperA, Brctlhcr*, VfW York, *94^, PP- 

‘We m nPT indulging m treaty ipcl a physical tertijlinn tthuil we s 4 y u fonct 
Ihh m. nid £* iistreh the mine of m i*pctf uf the bfluviur of material rvstcsuy A 
solar, ur galactic* system bchivci m * certain w*y. ami tfrmfnontm call at "gravity 
non* A social Man of living material bofUe* beta re* in a terrain Wiy, and we 
tndl it "iididstriry," h ii nur joi>, u joentuta, in observe, analyze, iiid Lnrerpf« 
fpjxrti df behavior in 11 iiL[CCfivf ami infiinin^iul 1 way 31 potsjMcL 


the grrmp. The “social gravitational force” h thus stronger even than that 
of life itself, ft is our cask, as scientific students of man, to render this 
farce intelligible, to disclose its source and basis* and to show how k ex¬ 
press itself in its manifold forms. 

fa 3 sense, it is point:Jess to -isk. "'Why dne.T a body as rest remain at 
rest?'’' Hr, "Why will a body in motion continue in morion forever and 
in a stnight line unless.,, r T Science lias no answers to such questions 
other than to say cliar this is the way such ladies behave. Similarly, it is 
rather senseless to ask, “Why do living faring* esc it themselves to pre¬ 
sence rheir livc% both it* individuals and as specks? 1 ’ Or. ^Wby do dead 
bodies mnain dead; extinct specie*, extinct?" We raise these questions 
merely to tlbpmc of them, they are nut sensible scientific tjuesrinns- 
This w*niId, no doubt, lie readily admitted by physicists and astronomers, 
If would be admitted, but probably much lev. commonly, in biology. 
There the tendency to regard the behavior of living beings in irnih of 
purpose «u*e, destiny, and goal b cotistderable, and wmc students would 
he raifier tuarli to dbmbc these quesriura us ^enr^lra or irrelevant. On 
[he contrary, the “purpose of life 1 ' seems to some to he the only question 
of importance* The assertion that “the purpose of life is living" is ID 
them not merely an empty tautology bur an offensive doctrine as well. 
When we conic ro human societies, wc find conceptions so anthropo¬ 
morphic^ so charged with mysticism, [hat rhe impersonal oon^niinbtfc 
arrirude, now commonplace in physics, is sometimes rate or wholly want¬ 
ing. It is a commonplace to regard an atom as a material system* com¬ 
posed of a proton nucleus and electrons, A polygynuus primate family 
is also a material system* with a dominant male and a plural number of 
mates. In cadi case ihc system is to be explained in terms of [he properties 
of its constituent elements, its organization, and its environmental con¬ 
text. Tlit naturalistic point of iew is of course now well established in 
physics i it is still relative tv new in sociology - . We srtll work with in¬ 
stincts, drives, psychic mechanisms, eic., nm ro mention free will and 
Gud Almighty* ro "explain" family organization 
Going from the family to such social systems as arc Libeled "de- 

- Pngimna of rhe Roman Cithnlk Onirch sne^h » die nisteocc of Gad, a Supreme 
Iking, divine rotation, orijfitt,i! tin, tnd i3*e fill r»f man jit .in Integral pin of 
ihc ptuLottipby of erlm^logy of the Culture HtaodetJ ntfunA of cilinoEogy. which 
fnr many vein c.tcrnbcd considerable influence m America and Ahj nelf *\ in 
Europe under the leadership of die btc Father WillieJm ScfatfiMt* S,V1>„ and hit 
cm**orkcf Fashf r WUhdrn Koppen, S^e r b-c rumple, Ptanitht fircwfjrfcjt, 1930. by 
l iihrr SsFuiiidt; Kopptti’i i 9 ritmth\ AUu xi.f Hit U*tirU J'irwffp 1911 Sylvcsrrr A- 
Skbcr, S V-D,, and Fran/ El, Alucllcr, \1CS„ American lollpitcn of Sdimttk ond 

Koppen, idl IK tint “after nn^iiul %i n . r , liihcmide fur ilaily bread btrailK 

- - * 1 bitter necessity ,.. die ifjidt) 1 of f-cmd unlit lx cpiwideffid * puauhrn-eoi for 
«n.., " Tht S$cml Lift of Ftmnttie Man, B. Herder Boot Cufnpuiy. Si. Louis, 194 t t 
PP- 71-74- 


momry” "fascism." "communism." and "socialLmi." in contemporary 
thought. Din? finds himself almost wholly outside the viewpoint and 

halrits of thought of science. . . , . ,. 

We shall attempt to treat human societies in the same Attitude with 
which a physicist regards nebulae, stars, or aroms: as natural phenomena. 
In each instance mswrifll systems are involved, systems which may be 
studied and interpreted from the standpoint of structure and function. 
In each case esplarutfon u ill consist in ascertaining the properties of 
things, in the observation of events, and in the formulation of generaliza¬ 
tions nr universal* that will embrace die particulars. 

A SQcicly is one aspect of the behavior of living material bodies; it is 
a form of behavior assumed by them. The nature of societies is ro be 
seen in the fact that they are forms of behavior in which the living char¬ 
acter of the component material bodies is maintained. In short, social 
organization is merely the iuierurganismal aspect of nutritive, protective, 
and reproductive behavior- To say. therefore, that a living species cart 
live only if if does ccmin things' is f» say that k will form societies. 
Social organization, is not merely i mean;- of sustaining life; it Is u form 
of life: of rhe life process itself* 

There if more to life, of course* tlian fecial organization. life & * form 
of motion the form peculiar to material bodies having cellular structure 
ind functions. Two aspects of vital motion may be distinguished: infra- 
orgaiusina! (morions within the living; body itself) and extn organisms) 
(motiuns relating rhe living body to things outside itself } r I he tjrrv-ior- 
gankmd aspect of motion may tic analyzed into two categories also: the 
rdaduns of an organism with other living beings with whom tr forms .1 
social svstcni. and relations wiih dements in its habitat which are noc 
incorporated into social systems. Social life, or social organization, is 
therefore the mierorganiimil aspect of rhe behavior nf living materia! 

1 todies. Societies vary widely, and these variations are made intelligible 
bv noting the roles played by the intraorgunkmal and ociraorganismal 
aspects of vital motion, respectively. 

Irt some societies tlic ktcraorgaivismal aspect of behavior may pby a 
relative! v great, the inierorganiHiial aspect an insignificaiiE, part in the 
life of the Individual and of the species. In others, the situation is re¬ 
versed There ire situations in which a physiologic process, rhe nutritive* 
for example* is dependent upon social iciationdups (stickling mammals; 
ilie proletariat, whether employed or “on relief f y With regard to lb* 
human species, we shall see that there has beet a growth ln 
magnitude and relative importance, of the imctorganisnml factor through¬ 
out the whole course of cultural evolution. 

The -y :hy of society or w>dal urbanization is therefore dear. It is a 


way of sustaining and perpetuating life. Life may tie made more secure 
md enduring by irdatimtships between nanisms. In reproduction, sub¬ 
sistence, and defense, the life, both nf individual and ipecice. i\ furthered 
by concerted action, Wc now wish to sec h&w this is accomplished. 
Specifically* we wish to see how the sod a I organism regulates and con¬ 
trols iis component members so that ail may be integrated into a whole- 
fit subhuman primate sociery. rhe individual members are held within 
the group by sexual artmeriun, by the method of nutrition, and by the 
safetv and protection that group life affords ids members, Wc have al- 
ready analyzed this type of society and have detnonsrrared the nperution 
of its determining factors and the results produced by Them, We have 
seen, too, that articulate speech, which transformed the anthropoid into 
a man, provided a new meins and j new basis of social organization, 
lu addition to the impulses, reflexes, tropisms, gesture^ signs, etc*. of the 
lower primates, man his symbolic means of establishing relations with 
one another, and this means becomes of paramount importance in the 
human species. The peculiar and clu net eristic means of social integration 
and control in human society arc therefore Verbal rules and formulas. 
These find expression in nisfiy forms more ur Jess explicit: philosophies, 
myths and talcs, ritual* Inrc and legends, custom, codes of law, etc* This 
statement is neither inconsistent uirh nor unrelated to out conception of 
human I icings as material bodies. Symbolic communication bs in a sense, 
a form of radiation: vibrations nf one body affect another and influence 
ift behavior. The fact that tl*e f<W7« of the influence is symbolic does not 
deny or lessen the influence; it merely &pectlies its hind or nature. There 
are many kiniU of influence exerted by one material body upon mother. 
In the physicochemical realm wc have gnmndiHul. magnetic. electric, 
catalytic,, etc,, forms. In animate systems there Jte numtinnaL wxuaL ag¬ 
gressive am! defensive influences which express themselves in i/fipkiuv re¬ 
flexes* or in patterns of response acquired through learning, or formed for 
the occasion by insight, understanding, and the creative synthetic of 
imagination, as exemplified by the problem sohing of apes. The f&n?i 
of internrganismal influence within rhe human spedcs and peculiar to it 
is symb&Uc. But symbolic interaction among human beings if merely a 
purlieu Jar form of interaction among material bodies in general- 

In Qiaptcr 3, "'The Nature nf Social Organisation," wc cnntidcrfd 
some of the basic problems of social systems: the nature and Ms of 
fundamental social processes, the factors that determine size nf social 
group T etc. Now, however, ue wish to discover how any given social 
pent, particularly one within rhe human species, regulates itself, 
functions in an orderly and effective manner by controlling the behavior 


of its exponent parrs. In nrder to discover these things for i particular 
social system we shall have to formulate gcamihmms valid for all 

social systems- „ . 

Any system h characterized by order and regulation. 1 nis is Imt an- 
otter way of saying iter we do not apply the word ‘‘system to diaos^ But 
the principles and bases of order vary* specifically* frnrti one kind of 
wmm to another. What is k that gives order to * human society? Why 
jucs uniformity of behavior prevail rather than caprice or chaos? How 
does the system coturol the behavior of individuals so as to bring about 
uniformiti^ In some instances, differences in others? Men behave like 
fiicEip bur unlike women. The system mu# articulate these differences 
with out another. i> well as effect uniformities, in order to establish and 
main tain itself as a smooth-working, effective functioning whole, lu 
discover how human societies do these things is our present cask* 

In answer to such questions as, "How does an atom of carbon regu- 
hire itsdf as a system? 1 ’; "I low is order achieved? \ "W by do ilse elec¬ 
tron* tie have in a uniform manner?''; "How is ttie part controlled by. or 
subordinated to. the whole? 11 j die physicist might give such answers as 
thc?.c: An atom b an organization of different kinds of pares, 1 ‘Different 
kind^ of parts" means differences of Structure, magnitude, and behavior: 
a proton is a different kind of tiling structurally from an electron, ami ir 
behaves differently. Nest, there is the number of parts. If an atomic 
nudeib has a certain nunilicr of parts, it is one kind of element; if another 
uniiiter* it is a different kind. Atoms of a given element may vary in 
the number of electrons they contain. These variations are called isotopes* 
and one isotope behaves differently from another in ccream ic pccLM, 
Thus* we have three things to consider in [he atom: the kinds of parts* 
the number of each kind, and the configuration in which they are placed 
^nd orqaniMd into a coherent whole. We can cvpiain the behavior of 
rhe atom* both as a whole and with reference to it* constituent parts, jn 
terms of these factors. 

Similarly with a living cell. It is composed of kinds of parrs, of num¬ 
bers of parts, and they are organized in a certain kind of configuration. 
A thing, taken by itself* is wliat it is; that b to say* an atom of carbon 
h an atom nf carbon; it lias a terrain structure, mass, and magnitude. But 
in i system, a thing becomes a part and is therefore subordinated to the 
whole. Its tehavior, e.g., rhe atom of carbon, is determined not only by 
its own composition and structure* but by its relationship to other parts 
of the sy*rt£m, by its place in the total content or configuration. The be¬ 
havior of -i carbon atom in a molecule of ethyl alcohol is nor the same 
as its behavior in one of dimethyl ether. Both substances are composed 
of tile s.unc Linds of elements and the same quantities of each kind; the 
formula for cadi is CffbO, Bui the arrangement of atoms in molecules 


differ^ giving the substances marked differences in properties and lie- 
havior- The behavior of the pan is tbus a function of the configuration 
of ihr whole. 

And so it h with run hi cellular organisms. Each h made up ur kinds of 
parrs, and these parts are arranged jn a certain pattern, organized into a 
definite configuration. The part is subordinate 10 the whole. The be¬ 
havior of the part is a function of the configuration of the whole up well 
as of its own properties. "If ectoderm cells/* writes Ntfvicoff, "were 
removed front a salamander embryo and transplanted over the mouth 
organizer qf a frog embryo, they would develop into salamander Stric¬ 
tures—of the mouth; they would form teeth and nor tielly skin ." 1 The 
relationship of part to part is determined by the relationship of part ro 

The behavior of any system* therefore, whether considered as a whole 
or in terms of its constituent parts* is determined by three faerrorS: 
(i) kind of panes* kind being described in tenrn of moss* magnitude* 
structure, ere,; (i) arithmetic number of parts, the number of unit* in 
each kind {the number of carbon atoms in a molecule or cell), mid flic 
number of kinds of parts (the number of kinds of atoms in a molecule 
or cell); and (}) the configuration in which the kinds and numbers of 
constituent dements are organized. We may write this as a simple 


A system, S t in its structure and function, as a whole and in its several 
parts* is a function of kind of dungs* A\ m rmtfer of things am! categories, 
S', and configuration of organization. C The system will vary as any one 
of these factors varies. 

her us turn now to social systems of primates And let us recall the 
nature of die social orgaiikatitm of baboons as described by Zuckcr- 
rnan and siuntnarizcd in Chapter j, ' The Nature of Social Organization. 
We nrjted that rhe size of the local group is determined by the factors 
oF nutrition and uf mutual aid in protection from enemies* especially 
the former, Tfic size and composition of the family group are deter¬ 
mined by attraction between the sejccs* Hie domtnance of die male 
the prowess of the male in the struggle for mates* and so nm 
But now we are concerned with the system as given. How is part re¬ 
lated to whole? How and why docs each individual behave in such ■ way 
so that collectively individuals constitute an orderly* effectively func¬ 
tioning ^ hole instead of a chaotic mob? 

We already have the answer: rhe behavior, both nf the baboon troop 

* Ak tinder ft, Novfcdff, "The Cauccjit nf tofignmc Letch mJ IWology" Scicnrr* 

Ws|. mi* m>. pp_ 

; I * JfJtTMITlVF. COtTl Rt 

3 ni of the Individual. fe determined by kind of ptr, number nf units 
and of categories, and the configuration in which ail are organized. 

A baboon i, either a male nr j female, old Or young, strong nr 
fasr nr slow, etc. The proportion of ttw sexes may vary; so may the ratio 
of old m young. A male is a member «f * *«"•'* «*“- « unit n weaned 
youngster or u the overlord of a family group, or he is a celibate male, 
in cither case his behavior is dctcntiined by the social configuration in 
which he finds himself: family plus local group, or local group, com¬ 
posed of families and other celibate males. Titus, the behavior of a baboon 
social system, cither as a whole or as any one of its parts, is determined 

l,v such factors rc < 0 *&■ P ro '^“- « c ' of thc lndi ' ld ^ ls: <*>™ 

number of individuals in the system, but more especially the proportions 
of male and female, old and young, strong and weak; md f}> t.ic two 
lands ,rf social cnnliguotions. the family and the local, territorial group 

An individual will nor voluntarily leave the group because be would 
deprive himself of food, if he were umiraned, ns well as *'t protection 
fi 4 t enemies. If lie were an adult be would deprive himself of the “P 
nommitv lor sexual satisfaction os well as of snmc protection from 
enemies if he left. Food, sex, and protection are the cotuldcntiow that 
keep the individual within the local group. If, through reproduction, the 
group should outgrow rht food resources of its territory, a numtMtr of 
individuals would break away and emigrate os a group, nor individually. 

Within the local group, each individual has his behavior shaped anil 
directed by the social configurations of family, or by rite local group 
D-, 4 w hole if lie he a celibate male, or by both. 

When wc rum from subhuman primates to the human species, «c note 
a profound and significant difference between these two categories, 
nay analyze the determinants of the social behavior of the lower primates 
into individual hinjogicj] properties, on the one luuid. and social context 
or configuration, on the other. But the social role in which the monkey 
,,r apt finds himself Is tletcrmincd by his biological properties. A mile 
will havr one role, i female another. The young and old, weak and 
stmng, etc., will circulate and function in certain social orbits because 
they arc young or weak. Social role here is a function of biological proper- 
ties; the former is the dependent, the latter tl« independent, variable. 
In the human species, loo, social role is dependent or contingent upm 
biological make-up to a certain extern; a suckling infant, a feeble old 
man. an adolescent girl, fetch will have a role determined in part, at least. 

•SoITtiry jiws; luve brers reported. The reason for their 1«w ewircnrt “ Mt 
clear. Fcfflups Tliev have bwl Ktpdled hv more powerful J.iTtfHTirei perfiapi UWV 
were ibamfcned wheo PL Acenrdinp to W. Kohler. dsfeupBUeei dislike cM-eedingiy 
to 1^ wpartted fitun their p™jp: “They wi[l risk very lh'« to pec hack. 

The Mentality of Apts, Haicotitr. Price mil Gorrspsny, New York, ijjj. f- rW- 

(jjiiuummf. regulation, a™ costroi, of social systeais 215 

by his or litn respective biological properties. But in human societies (here 
arc msmv instance* in which the biological Factor ii merely incidental 
10 the mk! isi! role of rhe individual* or play ; no p.*rr 11 ill. Within the class 
of normal adults, whether a jwrscm is a conk, a metal w orker, freeman or 
si jyc. a weaver, a doctor, or a farm laborer may be wholly a matter 
of cultural detcrmstiarjon. And in many liEmriom in which a bin biped 
factor, such as sex. is relevant, it may he subordmared to the cultural 
factor or even overridden by it. Old men may care for babies; women 
may lie excluded from pursuits for which they are qualified, for purely 
social reason*; and men may rake the roles of women, and vice versa. We 
may generalize as follows: Among all subhuman species, todd) systems 
arc. at frnrtmUi biologically determined^ they are functions of bodily 
structure and process, In rhe human species, there is, as we noted in 
Chapter i, a generic relationship between the human specie is a whole 
anil culture as a whole. Culture is as ir ss became man is as he it; it Would 
be different it man were biologically different. But ‘“culture as a whole" 
k made tip of an indefinite and a very number of particular cd- 
tuna, no two of which are alike. These differences among cultures, and 
the processes of culture change, cannot be explained biologically. As¬ 
suming the biological factor to be a constant, which we are justified in 
doing, and treating the environmental factor os a ennstanr, which we may 
do for purposes of scientific analysis and problem solving, differences 
among cultures arc to be explained ctilturologicalJy, i.c^ in terms of 
cultural factors themselves. Any human society, ix., the network of 
intcrrektiodslxip among human organisms, k a function of its extrasoinatic 
tradition, culture, the biological and environmental factors being constant: 

S = f(C)L\ We thus come tn a very import ant point: there are two 
fanJamentally difTqrenc kinds of social systems, and they imply and re¬ 
quire fimdomcnmlly different sociologies to interpret them Subhuman 
sociology is a subdivision of biology; human sociology is- a subdivision of 
culturology. This distinction unfommatdy* not ahrays recognized and 
appreciated by soctologbts anil social anthropoiogiste- 

In previous discussion we have emphaizej orderliness, uniformity 1 
jnd regularity w characteristic* of all sterns, social systems Enrimled. 
We have pointed out that unites these qualities: were present we could 
nor cdl an aggregation of things and events a system. System is the 
name qf a (and of errganizati™ chat fr orderly, regular, and uniform to 
a certain degree and in certain aspects. A portion of reality (hat was 
htm one instant, salt the next, md a hodgepodge of material p.irticlc> 
und radiation, nr a bacterium, the next, would nr>i he called a system; 
it would be half chaos, half miracle. Order, uniformity. regularity, 
continuity.' etc^ are therefore given with teallry a* we find il This docs 

ii4 mum mvE- cwrun 

not mean, ttf course, that order, etc., is everywhere, rlwt order “is #11." 
The very terms order, uniformiry, ere., imply the absence or opposite 

of these qualities . , 

We may take, [lien, order, uniformity, regularity, connnuiTy, etc., a. 
properties' of all systeiro. It «1 contribute to an uudenMnding of human 
social systems if we consider v,har these qualities mean in terms of con- 
erttt experience and behavior. 

There are tmtiy ways of making an arrow* of drawing a bow anu re- 
I caring the irruw, of greeting a friend, catching a fish, seasoning a duck, 
dressing the hair t tending a child* or of burying the dead- But within a 
given social vyxtein, particularly among small ones such as those of pre- 
Iterate people** we will find that there lends to be only one way of 
performing a certain operation. In short, we Jiave customary ways of 
doing things l cuMonts. O itttm ^ the name we give to uniformities regu¬ 
larities* continuities, etc,* in cultural sodal systems. 

The meaning of custom b to be discovered in the rde k plays in 
human social systems. It means economy and efficiency, to begin wMl 
T o ciindnme a technique once acquired is easier than to devise a new 
one, fc saves both time and effort* 1 Once a suitable ty]>e of arrow release 
has been achieved, sc is easier, more economical and therefore more 
efficient socially* tu continue to use it than 10 develop a new OW. hive 
major types of arrow release have been used throughout the world Hut 
they art nor distributed at random m ot the caprice or preference of 
the bowmen. Few* if any peoples, use more than one major type; and 
there arc (Treat areas of the world where only one method of release b 
found. Novelrv is expensive in terms of origin and development on 
the technological side, and costly also from flic standpoint of learning 
bv the individual Moreover, novelty is disruptive, A people who is 
habiniam! tu putting salt in tea might he disturbed by the use nf sugar. 

A consideration of novelty versus uniformity and regularity brings up 
the matter of prediction All human social life is conducted In terms of 
anticipations, expectations, predictions. Orderly social life would l*c qnsce 
impossible without the ability' to make realistic predictions 1 know w hat 
to expect when J put flame to dry straw, put salt in water, or plant seeds 
in warm moist soiL Effective imercourse with the external world is made 
possible only because certain realistic predictions cm be made. Ami 
predictions in this Area art made possible bv the uniform, regular, con- 
rimjnus, and repetitive aspect of the external world, as determined by 

* "Quean make* to r i powerful mammy hi the learning of tn urdmdiwl" li Sajiir, 
U 0n&anu* ui Em^^lop-jidu of ibt Soria I Srirttrfj, vul. 4. The MacrnilUfl Company, 
New Yoifc rflp* p. 

• A. L Kroeber* h Arrow Release IXstrihutitiiur Unhrr^iy of Crftfomi* Pubftr*- 

tipm in Amerfs-jn Archaeology end Ethn&foiw, vol. no. 4, pp. tqij* 


its own Enherein prciperries, So also in the realm of human social rela¬ 
tions: one must be able m amici pace* xo predict in order ro act meaning¬ 
fully. 1 must know, within s certain tange of variation* how someone 
will act If I greet him, ask him for a match, clasp his hand. spit at or on 
him* kiss him, etc., if 1 am to have effective social intercourse with him. 
Bui in i he sociocultural sphere t lie re is no inherently determined response 
to a given stimulus. What ?■, one to do when someone "bites his ihimfii' 
at you 2. Since realistic expectation and prediction arc necessary to sock! 
intercourse, and since in rhe social realm inherently determined response 
10 stimulus is belting, in short, because uniformities, regularities, and con* 
tinuirics arc not iritriiisic in the realm of social ritual and intercourse, they 
insist he established ad hoc to provide a bask for prediction. Tlicse regu¬ 
larities, uniformities* and tcontinuities are cTiJt&mf* 

Custom is therefore a powerful arid effective mcam of social integra¬ 
tion and regulation- It is a means of effecting regularity, uniformity, or¬ 
der, and continuity in social sv stems, Each part of the system is given 
its identity, and each part h geared to other parts and to (he whole. 
Each baby born into the social system is molded by education and train¬ 
ing uul is fitted securely into the system He is hi conditioned by his 
training as to match the external and objective permanence of custom 
with his own inner fixity of attitude, Custom thus becomes so fixed as 
often to be called rigid. 

In addition to the characteristics and advantages of custom that we 
have just see forth, there Is still another: custom per se is i powerful 
mean? of promoting social solidarity—perhaps the most important qiial- 
ary of all social systems —by serving ns < stimulus to arouse, and as a 
medium to express, group loyalty" and allegiance.* A grmip does some¬ 
thing in a certain way. In itself* perhaps, it is of no practical value i it 
may seem very trivial. It may be the custom of cutting or nearing one's 
hair in a certain way* a characteristic type of ornament or garment, a 
technique of using knife and fork, of carrying school books in a green 
cloth hag instead of a leather briefcase. These customs serve as social 
badges, means of identifying societies* or classes within social systems* 
They arc exremiil expressions of “we-ness” as distinguished front M Ttiey. * 
They tell at a glance whether vou are “One of us“ or not, The ob¬ 
servance of custom. <aid S&pir, “is a svmbolic affirmation of the solidarity 
of tlie group/ 1 * The solidarity of a group may thus seek and find ex- 
predion in some custom a rv act nr insignia. But there is action and re¬ 
action here as else where. The etui ternary act or insignia in turn stimulates 
and dunnds the sentiment of solidarity. Tc is a means of objectifying it, 

’The Htipi intlbmi label dtmtfcinv from cesium ka-Hupi, i-e, not rhe I In-pi way* 
but the deviation ii not mutely diffemic if U ^approved of because it is different 
1 Sipir* vp, r/f n p w htfi. 


and this objectification, tJtir. Mtertudfty, makes easier mid more effective 
the transmission of sentiments of solidarity front one generation to 

T hus we see that an inquiry into rive nature of custom, the origin, 
liasBi, and function of regularities, uniformities, and continuities within 
social systems, does much to answer the ijiicsrions. "What holds human 
societies together?‘ f and “How are they able to coortlitwtc their com¬ 
ponent parts and integrate them into a coherent and smooth-working 
wholcf* r 

Uniformities, regularities, and continuities arc found every where, lei 
sysrecav of a!) kinds. Custom is merely the name of these attributes uitliiu 
the dawi of cultural system*. The concept custom thus serves m pUcc 
sociocultural systems in a conrcvr as broad ns science itself by indicating 
that they arc but a subclass of -ill systems taken as a whole. 

Tiic concept of custom serves also 10 relate human social systems to 
iho^c -_ȣ other species. The uniformities, regularities and continuities 
in the social life of subhuman spedcs are sometimes termed the halm 
df the animals (or plants) in question* And it may lie justly assumed that 
the social liable of man's immediate ancestors served as the hwds of The 
primordial cu^oehs of mankind. It was the syfnijol, oiticcbtc speech, 
that transformed the habits of certain anthropoid species into human 
costtims, Jn the history of min f therefore, customs are basic in an ci olu- 
tionarv as they are in logical, timttioruil analysis. 

We turn now from a consideration of custom in general to suWjvndons 
within thb category to pedal Linds of organization of customary be¬ 
havior. We dbringubb wo mch subclass of custom, namely* cthkf 
and etiquette. W* define extiks as a *et of rules designed to regulate the 
bduvhr of individualv so as in promote the general welfare, the wetfa* 
of the group. Etiquette k a set of rules which recognizes classes within 
society, defines them in terms of behavior and so regulates the behavior 
of individual* as to keep ihcru in their proper dessfe. In this way classs 
arc kept distinct and intact; j nd means of ;urieulating da«cs with one 
another in social intercourse art provided. Use rules of ethics and of 
etiquette alike serve to integrate and regulate human social systems by 
determining the relationships between parr and part and between part 
and whole. Let os turn first to a consideration of ethics. 

Ethics. As just stated* we mean by ethics a code of mlo tin* purpose 
of which k to regulate the hchavioE of individuals so that the welfare, 
or what b deemed to be rhe welfare* of the group will be fostered. We 
define welfare in terms of subsistence* healthy protection from the elo 
merits, defense against enemies, etc.; in short, in terms of security 

fNTtrcmATiONfc ftPCtUArius, control or $ouaj, srrrors =rj 

continuity of life. We qualify welfare with rhe phrase 4l nr %vhat is deemed 
to be the welfare" of the group bee a use critical rules arc ^mutinies 
fatted upon unsound premises. Fur example* custom might require the 
lulling of one or both twins ar birth on the rainnpdfln that this would 
avert subsequent evil to the community. In dik instance the ethical rule 
actually works m injury upon the group, bur ii h done in the belief 
that it is promoting its welfare. Every human society, as a social system, 
rends to maintain itself to mwdrnttm ad vantage, and it dots this by at¬ 
tempting to regulate the behavior of each one of i& component indi¬ 
viduals so that this end may be attained. The particular process and 
mechanism by which society doe® this wc call ethics. 

In speaking of human welfare we may distinguish between the interest 
of the group as a whole, on the one hand, and the interest® of individual 
severally, on the other. The interests of the individual and of the group 
coincide, ns of course they must, ar many point®. Bur they differ* and 
even conflict, at others. No system can permit an individual to wreak 
his aggressions ar will upon other members of the community, nor does 
any human society allow Sts members freely to gratify their sexual ap¬ 
petites where they will, or to marry any person they please Many* if 
not most, systems oblige certain individuals to share their food with 
others and otherwise to subordinate their own needs to the welfare of 
the group. St is therefore at points where the interests of individual 
and group differ or conflict that the rules of ethics come into play. 

There arc only two major types of philosophy of ethics: the absolutize 
and superttatunlLstJc, and rhe relativistic and rtacundisde, coneepdons of 
ethical value-?, fti the roper natural brie conception, +l right F ' and ♦'wrong” 
are absolute; a thing is right because it k risrht* or wrong because it is 
wrong, We find this conception expressed in oor own culture in such 
beliefs as that jr Is wrong to rdl a lie* nr to drink a glaSS of wine, or to 
play cards on Sunday, etc^ no matter what the context or consequences 
of the act may be. In the ration a fi.vrie conception of ethical values there 
ore no absolute rights or wrongs. A deed U right or wrung depending 
upon whether it promotes or militarae against the welfare of the group. 
Thus a deliberate misstatement of facts may be benefidd* A phydekn 
might aid the recovery" of his patient by deliberately telling him Things 
that were not true. If the patient 7 * health is restored or his life saved by 
this he, then it b good. If, however a deed such os killing one's brother 
should injure the group as a whole; then it is bad. From the standpoint 
of scientific interpreration of human social behavior, we must, of course* 
cake the view that ethical values are not absolutes, that they are purely 
naturalistic phenomena, and arc always relative ro the situation, that they 
are meaningless apart from contest. The conception of ethical values as 
absolutes, whether superna ruraliZc in character or not. Can only be re-> 


ai a delodon, a failure cn on demand the rod nature nf hmm 

behavior _ , * + 

From rite swodpomr of this distinction between these two philosophies 
fif ethics, we may malt an interesting arid pertinent comparison lietwcen 
the ethical systems of preliterotc peoples and those of modern literate 
cultures, namely, that the ethical systems of the former rest Upon prem¬ 
ises, whether explicit or implicit, that are naturalistic to ,t greater degree 
than the ethical systems of modem civilised peoples. Among primitive 
peoples the distinction between relations between man and God, on 
the one hand, and between man and man, on the other, is sharper than 
in civili/ttl ciifrurcs. Prims five peoples negotiate with rheir gods in order 
to obtain their good will and help in their straggle for existence with 
reference both to their natural Itahitai and ro their hostile neighbors. 
But with regard to their own domestic social affairs, primitive peoples 
felt for the most parr that rhev could manage them themselves without 
the interference or the help of the nods. The gods may require the savage 
■‘to do his duty toward them/' Tylor observes, but "it does not follow 
that they should concern themselves with his doing his duty to his 
neighbor .' 118 Thus an Indian might seek the aid of spirits in hunting, 
horticulture, medicine, or warfare, hut not in Ids social relations with Ids 
fellow tribesmen. Virtually nowhere do we find that marriage or divorce 
is an affair of the gods in p mb terete systems. Nor is the killing of a fellow 
tribesman, even a* member of one's own family, an affair in winch the 
gods have any concern, in primitive society, ays Tylor, "if a man ml* 
or murders, that is for the party wronged or lii friends to avenge; if he 
ts stingy, treacherous, brutal, then punishment may fall on hint or he 
ntay lie’scouted by all good people; but he is not necessarily looked upon 
as hateful to the yods. and in fact such a man is often a great medicine¬ 
man or priest," 11 In civil society, nn the other hand, there I ms tended to 
be a diminution of dependence of man upon the gods in his relations 
with Jvis rutuml habitat-subsistence. medicine, etc.—but there hits been 
a marked intrusion of the deities into the social affairs of mankind. Thus 
in out own system such things as lying, stealing, charity', homicide, 
marriage, and divorce have come to be matters in which the gods ore 

vitally concerned. ... 

The reason fnr this difference between the critical systems of primitive 
peoples and those of civil societies is not difficult to discover. Primitive 
peoples were weak and indfecnid technologically and consequently re¬ 
lied upon the gods for Ivelp in their relations with the external world- 
But they were quite able for the most parr to manage their own social 

"F- B. Tvhr, dnibrapofogy, <$»<, p. }•«. 



affairs without resort to the spiritual world. .Advanced literste, metal¬ 
lurgical ctdotKS, cm the other hand, are much more effective tceluio- 
lexically, though even heft appeals for ^pirirtijJ aid eemrinue* But the 
riiuarion with regard tt« human social relations differs cumiderably. All 
civil societies are composed of two major chmcv: a small, dummartr, 
ruling chs» and a brge subordinate class of slavey serfs, peasant** or 
proletariat. The interests of these two daises are andthelical ar many 
points. Tlic cominuaii 1 m of such social systems, the maitimumcc of their 
integrity, depends therefore upon the perpetuation of this relationship 
between the two classes: the dominant class must continue to rak and 
to exploit, and the subordinate class mu-vt he continued in y condition 
of subjection. 'T he ruling class employs miliniry force in the maintenance 
of its podrion of dominance, but force is nut always effective and sviccess* 
fill, as the innumerable uprisings of serfs and skives make dear. The use 
of force is therefore supplemented with theology* The masses of the 
people arc taught by the priests that they must be docile, pari car, and 
humble, rhsr they must endure privations and bitter labor, that they 
must nor rise up against their masters but must submit to them peace¬ 
fully and even with good Will. Tylor speaks of powerful priesthood" 
in “the great old-world religions 1 ' who are '“the educators and controllers 
of society" and “moral teaching fully recognized as among the great 
duties of religion." l * The message of the priests lias a definite super¬ 
natural character! it is tlie will of God. "The gods take on themselves 
ific punish mu mi of the wicked^ savs Tylo*V “the Heaven-god smites rise 
perjurer with his thunderbolt, and the Narion-god brings sickness and 
dearEi on tfic murderer.'" xz The subordinate classes are thus made to feel 
that it is nor merely their terresriial masters whom they must serve and 
obey, but the eternal and almighty gods. This supernaturalisric sysrent 
of ethics lias, like naturalistic ones* its own sanctions. "Hie masses ire 
made 10 believe that if they fail to obey they will suffer divine ivraih 
and punishment 

Hie larc Sir James Frazer Has supplied vnmc interesting evidence l>ear- 
tug upon the difference between rfie ethical systems of tribal societies 
and those of the higher cultures. Early venfons of the Ten Corcunand- 
tnents, Jhe points mir t have to do almost wholly with the rcLmonship of 
man m God t not with man's relationship to tnan K In me of the cariy 
codes which he dies there is nor a single ethical commandment, ethical 
in the sense of governing ihc relationship of one member of a society 
to another. Instead, wc find rules having to do with religious rittiab and 
sacrifices; "The feast of unleavened cakes thou shale keep.."The far 


of im feast slull not remain all night until morning"; l * etc. In Inter ver- 
sbns of the Mosaic code, however, we find such comnt.ndmjnttg 
“Thou (hth not wtal, commit adultery.” etc* I ribal society had hy X u 
time been outgrown, and civil society w ith its antc-church had taken its 
place. Theology had become an imminent of social control. 

Y During the long course of the evolution of pltilosophy we have seen a 
gntdiul diminution of jupemutiiralum anil a cones ponding increase of 
naturalism. In the history of ethical systems, however, the opposite trend 
is to he noted; modem ethical system* tend to be more si.pcfnaturalistic 
tlun those of prelitcrate peoples. This fact might seem at first g ance to 
contra diet our general thesis of the evolution of culture- One might think 
that earlier ethical systems would be more 1 ‘primitive," Lt, supernatural^ 
tic than later ones.' Hut as we have pointed out almvc, a code of ethics 
is merely an aspect of a social system. It b merely □ fiiechuusm of social 
control- As social systems evolve, so will their ethical counterparts- 

Uiis brings up the question of "the evolution of morals” fins phrase 
is a very misleading one and is based upon a number of false conceptions. 
It assumes first of all that ethical values are things in themselves, tint one 
ethical value may lie compared directly with another, and that we can 
say that the one is better or higher or worse or lower than the other. 
On this bads it has been assumed that there has heen an evolution of 
ethical values, that they have, like axes, succeeded one another in a series 
of stages of development. Some students have asserted that extremely 
primitive peoples were defective or lacking in "j 1 moral sense, that they 
were Incapable psychologically of grasping the lofty moral conceptions 
that ate supposed to prevail in advanced, he., our own, culture, in us, 
Tyjof sjjeaks of the "dull-minded barbarian I who [ has not power of 
thought enough to come up to the civilized mart's licit moral standard 
All these conceptions are unsound and unwarranted. 

YVe have already examined the question of die nature of ethical values 
and have seen that a deed is good or had only in terms of its contest 
and consequences, run in terms of its own inherent qualities: due chanty 
or lying may he either good or had, depending upon whether it helps or 
harms the group. VVt have seen, furthermore, that the ethical systems 
of advanced literate cultures ate suptmaturalisric tu a greater degree 
than those of proliferate cultures, which would mean retrogression rather 
than advance from the standpoint of a theory of "the evujutinn ttf morals. 
Hut ethical values arc functions of social systems; they are determine . 
in final analysis, by technologies and habitats- Cultural systems luce 
evolved, and it is proper to speak of the evolution of social system*. Bet 

* sj r Jsnws Frazer. Wolk-iatt in i b e Old r«rjw«w, Macmillan k Off-, lad-, London. 

i^ij, p- |G*. 


the utiiv meaningful way in which vvc could speak of the evolution of 
ethics is in tenrn of the social systems of which they arc functions. Iti 
tills evolutionary process, the social systems are the in Jepeti tltcic, die 
ethical systems the dependent, variables. 

It has sometimes been argued tlwt the ethical advance of mankind 
ran he measured by die different evaluations placed upon himnn life. 
In primitive society, according to one verson of ihb view, life Is cheap, 
babies may he smothered at lurth T one's parents killed when they be¬ 
come old and one's neighbors arc not only killed as enemies but tor¬ 
tured before death. As cidture progressed, according to this theory* 
human life Iwcamc more and more valuable, until now, in our own cuJk 
tore, Ir is 'tiered/' Unfortunately most discussion* of thb thesis are not 
very realistic. They rend to overlook the realms for homicide in pre^ 
litente cultures It h not luck of i “moral seme'" rhut causes a mother 
to smother her newborn babe, bur lack of food. The same ration applies 
to the killing of old folks, t'cchnologici] control nver dteunbianco h 
wrak and inadequate in many primitive cultures, and habitats are cx> 
rationally niggardly and harsh, Alany rimes on low cultural levels there 
is nm enough food for aJI and the group is faced with starvation. But 
Vi ho is to die? Not rite able-bodied breadwinners. for if they starve the 
whole group wilt perish. The oonbreadwinners, therefore, the young 
and helpless, on the one hand* or the old and feeble, on the other, must 
be denied food* If it is a choice between young and old, the latter must 
\)c denied, for unless babies ure fed. the tribe will not be perpetuated. 
The old people have already lived their lives and will die soon anyway. 
Therefore, in times of famine ic may become a moral obligation to kill 
rhe old in order to feed the young, and it is sometimes felt to be more 
merciful to kill them outright than to allow them to die by inches. Some- 
limes, however, the young dso are killed when there k not enough 

Some primitive peoples have indeed been cruel in thcii treatment 
of captive^ but irk doubtful if their methods of torture have been more 
brutal and ingenious than those employed by Christian culture in its 
Inquisition, heretic hunting* sbvchoMtng, colonial exploitation, lynching, 
and even, one might say. in the Treatment of common criminals sudi as 
pickpocket* or horse thieve*. Met finds; employed by modem police to 
extract confections, or by the military to obtain “intelligence^ are some- 
hrnrs but little better if ft alh thati the tmtmeric of captives by primi¬ 
tive tribesmen, As for the “'dignity of mao"* and the sjerednessi of human 
life, what Is one to say of social system* that condemn the great majority 
fo lifelong poverty and want, sometime* even in the midst of plenty 5 
And when one consider* modem systems of mass destruction of human 
b/e, the simple u^r parties of moccasin ed braver seem putiy and in- 


\igniilc 3 Dt in comparison. 1r woultl be nrhci difficult to matt a on- 
vinftirg case for a higher evaluation nf human life tn modem nations as 
compared with primitive tribes. 

To mum to the notion that primitive peoples art psychologically in- 
capable of grasping flic lofty moral values that ate supposed to animats 
our behavior, it lias been assumed, on the one hand, that there art ethical 
values bl the externa] world that may be grasped by the "moral Sense." 
just as one might sec minute or distant objects, or hear almost inaudible 
sounds. And on the other hand. It lias been assumed that the moral seme 
of primitive man b weak, just as one’s cars or eyes may be weak. Until 
of ihe'it assumptions are unbound. As vc have already wery There arc 
no moral values, in the external world, rn be grasped. And in the second 
pLicc, there is no evidence rr> indicate that primitive mm is any les* 
It miiive than modem man in Ttutrerv of critics From the standpoint of 
neiiropyeholGgical equipment. primitive mart must Lae regarded ss es¬ 
sentially like ourselves* And as regard* ids sensitivity to sock! pressures 
such as the esteem of his fellows or their ridicule, there h an abundance 
of evidence to indiciie that primitive man is just as sens!rive and re¬ 
sponsive as his more civilized brother. Indeed* life in p re literate cultures* 
organized as it is in smalt groups, has a greater preponderance of Intimate 
personal relations than dues civil stiC my t and hence irimuktkxa and re¬ 
sponse in terms of praise and blame, esteem and ridicule* in shorty in 
ethical mailers of right ami wrong, probably play a relatively greater 
part in primitive than in civilizHed societies 

The notion rhit every hnmm being h equipped with a conscience* 
a mechanism that can perecive and appreciate mural values in the external 
world is old-fashioned and invttfirL ''CnrEfcicnce lh is merely the nauic we 
give to man's responses rn social srimularion in the ethical field- Av 
kaddiffe-BfowTi has put it, "Whai is called coflsdcaoc is thus in rbe 
widest ttrnre the reflex in the individual nf rhe sanctions nif society- 
The "Vtill] voice of conscience" h tlien merely a mandate of the 
tribe* making itself felt through the ri&ctra and brains of an individual 
human organism - 

According to earlier conceptions of ethics and monality p some peoples 
were "more moral" 1 than others. Here again we find the implicit as¬ 
sumption that a uni verbal set of moral values exists in the external world 
and rim fhk can serve as a standard by which the coefficient of morality, 
so to ^peuk, of each people could be gauged- Tiffs assumed set of moral 
value :t turned out, nf course, to be otir own, and consequently cvG 7 
other people was judged in terms of »mr own moral standards:. A peo¬ 
ple, therefore, that did not conform to the standards by which we pro- 

B A. R. RjdcMc-Dmwn. "Sranctiurt, SociilT bj EncycfopxtJh &f it v Sceijt $tir**&* 
vet i j, The MjemilUn Company. Stw York, i^^i, f. jji* 


fcsscd =tcr live was adjudged to be immoral. Thus a people that nor only 
allowed but encouraged premarital sexual intercourse among its young 
men and women wm adjudged to he immoral, From what has gone be' 
fore, it is ca*y to see ihe iinsoundness of this view. The critical values 
of any people arc relative rn their own sodd, technological and cn- 
viranmemal situation, not to an assumed absolute and universal standard* 
This means that every people has ik ow n ethical standards, its own ethi¬ 
cal system. 

There is one sense, however* in which one people might be said to he 
"'more moral" than another. By tot&ratity wc would mean the degree to 
which any people conform in actual practice no the ethical code that it 
professes to live bv. If j people lives up to its ethical code to a high degree, 
then it is moral; if it does not, it .is immoral to the extent that it fails. 
Thus wc might distinguish decrees of morality ; peoples would fail, in 
varying degrees, to live up to tiieir respective ethical codes. However* 
wo have as yet no adequate means of measuring the gap between pro¬ 
fession and practice other than the impressions uf observers. Wc know 
of no reason, however, for he lie vim: that primitive peoples arc any more 
or my Jess moral than peoples in more advanced cultures* In short, wc 
cannot speak of an "evolution of morality*” Dbcrepndes lie tween moral 
codes as enunciated by a people and its behavior with reference 10 them 
ire due no doubt to dislocations of ie> ttfedixniEcuol systems, caused by 
changes in habitat, technology, or relations with other peoples. In a 
highly integrated and stable culture we would expect to find a close 
correspondence between profession anil practice in the field of morals* 
LC* ,1 high degree of morality. In poorly integrated and unstable systems, 
on the other hand* \ve may expect iq find a low degree of correspondence, 
or immorality„ 

There is still mother way in whicli ethical systems may be evaluated 
and compared, and hence considered from the standpoint of evolution 
of ethical systems. An critical code is a means 10 an end—social wel¬ 
fare-just as medical techniques are means to »in cud, Gould we not say, 
therefore, thac one critical system j mzons may be better than another, 
ix,* promotes the welfare of its own group more effect! vdy? And if 
this h so* could we not speak of the evolution of critical systems, a 
course of development in which ethical sysreiiisr—Kke axes or plows— 
arc improved and become more effective as means of promoting group 
Welfare as culture advances? 

We must be on our guard here as elsewhere in comparative evaluations 
of ethical systems* The code of ethic* of tribe A may promote the web 
fare of tribe A more effectively than the ethical code of tribe 0 serves 
its society, Rut it docs not follow that rri 1 *r R would be better off with 
tile code of tribe A than with its own, by any means, it might, and 

ii 4 pftmmvt ctJLttiM 

probihlv would, be worse off. Here ^' a - « » important ltJ rcaliM tiut 
the mewing and value of a set of ethical value;, is icbrive only to its own 

sociocultural contest. __ 

But perl ups we could—if we hid the data and the scientific technique* 
—determine a ‘“coefficient of cffccnveriei,." for cadi and every ethical 
svstcni in its own sociocultural setting. An critical system might, for 
example, contribute nothing to rhe welfare of its society, or perhaps 
even he injurious. Its coefficient of effectiveness, suf a means of promoting 
riie general welfare, would therefore tie 7 Jfro, or lew, On tlic other hand, 
we can imagine it stiutitiin in which rhe ethicsl code is so wlII jdjptvd 
to Ilic needs of its society that any change would diminish it3 cnuiribu- 
tinru The coefficient of ctTeciivencss here would he toa And, of course, 
there trny be variation* between o and iot>. We might, therefore, again 
assuming that we had the require ethnographic data and the appropriate 
scientific techniques, go from one sociocultural system to another„ de- 
temiining the coefficients of their respective ethical systerna. Having 
done this. we could coiivitkr the question of a progressive development 
of ethical system* throughout die iihtury of culture. 

With regard to this problem, we rmy first of all, that we have 
neither the requisite information about the cultures of mankind nor rhe 
proper identific techniques to undertake retell a study of comparative 
evaluation. It is rcasoimhfe to assume that ethical systems vary in their 
conttihutinris tn the welfare of their respective societies; some must he 
well suited to needs, others less well suiied. But we see no reason for 
IxfJi cviiiq: that, in getteraL rhe ethical system of modern, civilized cul- 
[nre$ serve their respective societies any better than the ethical systems 
of prdiicratc cultures scried primitive peoples On die contrary, there is 
some mdicarion—die relatively greater ingredient of sttpernsrurahsm in 
ethical systems of literate cultures—-that rhe ethical codes of civilized 
societies Arc Jess effective in promoting the general well are than 
those of primitive peoples. 

Taking the ethical systems of human history as a whole, however, one 
can perhaps discern an evolutionary trend, at least on recent ami highest 
cultural levels. As we have already noted rhe ethical systems of modern 
literate civil societies tend to he more supematurahsric than those of 
prditeratc peoples. But with the growth of science and rationalism ip 
modern times, within the last few centuries and particularly since ihc 
triumph of Darwinism* there lias been a gradual weakening of super- 
ruicur&hmc sanctions and a corresponding growth of rationalism m die 
field of ethics. The old tlicubgira] view that there is an absolute, universal 
and divine wc of ethical nbt» and standards to which all peoples 
conform is gradually breaking down. The naturalistic and rational view 
that "goods 1 ’ and ire always relative 10 particular situations is 


gaining ground. It is fairly obvious tint adherence u> a cudc of absolute 
valuer can HOC prmnore the gcvttji 1T welfare effectively as a code of 
rejjtire villics could* !f an ethical system says diae something b always 
g^wt tegsniless of the drcumttancefip action in term? fjf this premise may 
produce actual htmi instead of gOUd- Hie (fend from the philosophy of 
dhsnluic values toward that tif relative values mutt therefore be regarded 
ns progressive. And there is indication that modem cultures arc moving 
in this direction. 

Eiiqisetft. Every system is composed of divas parts. If the syttttti as a 
vrhde is to maintain its integrity and m function effectively* each of its 
pans must maintain it* own identity and each must be related to others 
sn tiiat :i !3 may function together smoothly and efficiently. Among the 
parts of which every social sptem consists are, as We have already Si«n* 
classes. A class, as we have defined the term, is one of art indefinite num¬ 
ber of pares of a sockl w hole, each of which differs from the other-, in 
composition and functions. Men, v-onicn. adults, children, married. wid¬ 
owed. divorced, etc., are thus classes. As we have just noted alcove, each 
class must maintain its own integrity, and each one must be articulated 
with ttie others if the social system as a whole is to function harmoniously 
and effectively. Tlie means of accomplishing rhb is a code of rules that we 
call etiquette. A code of etiquette defines each class in terms of behavior 
and obliges cadi individual ro conform to the code proper to hb class. 
In this way tiie identirv of each class is established and its integrity main¬ 
tained, Furthermore, die beliavior of an individual member of a class, as 
prescribed by the code of etiquette, serves nor only to identify him w ith 
liL awn cLus tuii ro prescribe die ptopci form of social intercourse with 
individuals in other classes. Thus a code of etiquette not only operates 
to preserve the identity and integrity of each class, but serves to relate 
classes to otic another in an effective and efficient manner. 

Tin? rubs of behavior imposed by the society upon die individual arc 
enforced by tioctol sanctiuns, such ,:s adverse comment of cntioisiiT, rid- 
bufc, and ostracism. 

The above propositions may he illustrated with a few examples- One 
nf the uni vena] classes in human society b that of 1 Ids class, like 
every other dess, is defined in term* of behavior; men arc individuals who 
behave in certain prescribed w ays; that is to say, they dres* and war 
their hair in a distinctive manner, engage in certain occupations and in 
other ways behave in a manner prescribed by society. Each male individual 
as he comes to manhood is obliged to cfinform m the rules which serve 
to deluxe the dUs rrtffL If he fails %<> du this, he is punished. Hie usual 

" k miy, h mf cmirsr fc ha* in. dse the iiurrena nf j dummint ruling 

tbit, hut mit Uic u'cliilt ef die penile ^ i whole, nr even ia a majority. 


form of punishment h ridicule. Iftiiii does nor succeed in bringing him 
mo Itnc, he will be ostracized. The class character of etiquette is clearly 
revealed in ihc social act of ostracism. Ostracism is a wav of ejecting an 
individual from lus class. He thus becomes 3 mere outcast or is relegated 
to another class. Thus a ikwi who Is ostracized by life fellows, Lc„ ejected 
from the class ftm i, would be relegated to some other class, either a special 
class of outcasts, or one of children, women, or men-women. We see. 
Then, how the sock] mechanism of etiquette operates to regulate die be¬ 
havior of individuals in such a way as to maintain die identity of each 
ckss and thus to promote the integrity of society as a wfusku 
The regulation of Ixrhavinr by rules of etiquette lias three aspects, 
positive, negative, and neutral; i it requires certain things, prohibits 
certain things nnd is quite indifferent to other matters. A woman, for 
example, may be obliged io wear a certain garment, or dress her hair In a 
cerrain wav, as a meins of identifying herself with die social class irtm'tn. 
This identification is effected also by ft *r bid ding her to do certain things, 
such as am old fig nr riding brrrscbackr Or the code may be quite indifferent 
rn certain rhinp, neither prescribing nor prohibiting them, such os play¬ 
ing the piano or drinking tea. It is important to note that* from tiic Stand- 
point of etiquette, it does not matter what specifically is required, pro¬ 
hibited, or ignored, so long 35 external indications of class tfruenire aud 
membership are provided by customary prescriptions and proscriptions. 
It does not matter, fur example, whether men are required to wear ear¬ 
rings or prohibited from wearing them. Nor need rhe code of etiquette 
take 1 stand for or against the wearing of earrings; k may he neutral and 
indifferent at this point. But if social classes arc tu be defined and made 
distinct :snd kepi intact by obliging each individual to identify himself 
with fils class. Then some external signs .5 re necessary. !c is the business nf 
systems uf etiquette to provide these signs. In some cultures, as we noted 
L-ariser, there mav be differences of vocabulary between men and women 
at certain points: men will tee certain words ur forms, women wall use 
other*. Sometimes fine distinctiosi< are made between what b penuined 
and whai b prohibited !n our own culture, fur example, there seas a time 
when women were permitted 10 smoke, but not while walking on ibe 
*rreers. Now female pedestrian smoking is talented, but women still mJV 
not smoke cigars. Abo in our ow n cidture, men are permitted to wear 
black, while, or tan shoes, bur arc not permitted to wear shoes of shell 
pink at ruhin s^gg blue. This aspect of roles of etiqtietTC gives the ap¬ 
pearance, superficialh it least, of being capricious, and many persons 
w'hn Jo nor understand the nature and function of systems uf etiquette 
arc inclined to rail against them as being irrational sense lew, arid if ie re- 
fore unnecessary. They fail to understand time society must have some 
war of 35511 ring itself that men will behave as men, and women a? women- 

iXTEOTATTOX, RBGUUTIDff, AM? cokhiol of social SYSTEMS 12 7 

The ctFcctivc opcratum of codes of etiquette provides society with a 
hi^h degree: of order and stability. All orderly social life, uid ini Iced 
order in any kind uf system, depends, as we have sreii earlier, upon reg* 
uLiriry m the occurrence of events. Regularity and repetition mean con- 
nniiiry and the possibility of making realistic anticipations and predic¬ 
tions without which orderly social intercourse is impossible. We are so 
accustomed to the numerous regularities and uniformities in our social 
life char we tend to take them for granted and fail to appreciate the con¬ 
tribution drey make in our social existence. We cun for example* predict 
with a hi degree of success how ri lady, a priest, a policeman* profess or, 
or just an ordinary citizen will behave in certain situations. Suppose* for 
example* we stop a pedestrian on rhe street an & a*k him to direct us to 
the city hatl. We may be sure that in nine case* our of ten, providing he 
speaks our language, he will direct us or tell us that he does not know: 
Tm .1 stranLfcr here myself/ 1 Sometimes he will attempt tn direct vs even 
when he doesn't know' There arc, however, innumerable other responses 
thiar he might tunkv. 1 Tc nlight strike the inquirer* nr ran* laugh* spir, sit 
down, lake off Ids shoes* or any out of a thousand other possible respon¬ 
ses. E - h Of, to take another example, w Jrcu 1 go into my classroom 1 can he 
sure nf rhe behavior of my students 1 can tell in advance just how they 
will behave* at least within limits, and these very narrow ones. They in 
turn know exactly IlOW I shall behave. 1 must be dressed in a certain man¬ 
ner, 1 must wear shoes. Irrelevant as shoes utay appear to tie to collegiate 
instruction in anthropology* they are nevertheless essential 1 may come 
iu dav* with my lecture unprepared, but not without my shoes. Wearing 
dines is one nf the things required hy society of art inJividtuiLof the class 
prtffcfsor. Parents would not wish to have their cEutdrcn uke courses 
from a man who did not wear shoe, Neither would die administration 
be likdy to tolerate if. 

All these thing* arc of course taken for granted. Hut suppose we imagine 
a situation in which the students did not behave h students. Suppose a 
young man appears In class wearing lipstick or cannings. At fii>t we think 
that ic is part of a fraternity initiation; i.e., we refer the event tn a context* 
a class, where this kind of behavior would be appropriate, Bui we learn 
eventually that it is not a parr of a ritual of initiation but an individual 
idiosyncrasy. We know, then, that he is not a normal male college student. 
He has deviated from the strict norm of behavior required nf member* 

"ITiji rapansts of this loft do nor cxiit drff in the inugfration, but suiirtfiinei 
anwally -tceur* h mdicjtvd by * IMtrd Press diipitdi hum Gli^fdw, SeotL^J. 
wlkkb appe j red in die A Arkur *Vnrf tm A Tit, JO. ■ 0 ^ ^ Patrick Mf^--usi: t r w js 
wrested for dhmrbm C the peace fcccvmc be rjateil hm t.-. pome women waimg 
Uu 1 nreeI tif. There weft iw* white iritw raukr the hw miilperiof ±fmmd ifw 
hsp qf his head/' 


of this do& And here cnmfe Hu- significant And important point ire do 
tivi hi&to vhai he vM do next* We can nti longer predict hi* behavior 
rf he will wear lipstick or earrings, hr may do almost artyrlibg. Similarly, 
if the profit should come to das* one day without his necktie, but 
vi irh an old bievde rirc around liis neck, or take off his shoes during class 
and munch birdseed taken from his briefer, the sm denes would no longer 
be able to predict his behavior* and hence would nor know how to con¬ 
duct themselves with reference to him. A professor who would tehavc 
in this muLiner is unpredictable. And again we come to an tmpomnr point: 
j person *mbose behavior h unpredictjftk is potentially dangerous. We 
have no way of knowing when he might poison Others, throw acid in thdr 
faces, nr ocher wise injure them. People do run amok «xarictrulh f and 
shoot «r Mali people lodiscrtminatcly. It is not surprising that the gem It - 
null i;i tJic preceding footnote ^ f ns arrested- In shorty if wx are to have 
normal mfcijI intercourse, we must be able to predict the behavior of 
our fellows and tiicy must be able to predict ours- Without the regular¬ 
ities ami uniformities of custom, and the ability to predict which they make 
possible, we would have a chaos of individual whim and caprice. 

It is easy to sec. therefore* the great ctmidhution made by systems of 
etiquette, they define the various drtscs of society in terms of behavior 
and oblige cadi individual to conform m the behavior proper to his d^ 
We are thus assured that a nun will behave as a man* a priest as a pnest, 
a host as a host, and so on. We have uniformity and regularity anti use 
these traits as a guide w our behavior. We know whir to do and what to 
especr, Codes of etiquette also keep classes intact* If, therefore, idulc 
males do n<«t behave as men. then the d*ss men riixmt curates and goo to 
piece’-. The whimsical and capridous professor in the example above 
removes himself from rhe category nf professor. It may be countered 
at tfiis point that many societies, mir own for example, allow certain 
individuals to dresa and Irehavc ptetty much a* they please so lung as they 
do nor itcruillv injure or obstruct social imercotuse ar any important 
point. It might be supposed at first blush that this constitutes an ester p- 
don to. or refutation of. the generjJ piuposidons regarding enqueue that 
we lutvc made above* but this is not the case. Our society includes among 
its classes a class of eccentries or of celebrities who are pennirred many 
things denied to ordinary people—members of other classes, The da* 
characrcr and dgniheance of eccentrics is frequently indicated by A 
common saving: "He is in a clasi by himself/' liut even eccentrics will 
not be tolerated unless their behavior is predictable, i.c^ unless if conforms 
to rhe code for their class* 

Our understanding of systems uf etiquette is furthered bv a consider 
don of penalties imposed for violations of die code. In many irwfartco 
punishment ctuubra of removing a person from one dais and putting him 

rNTrniiAnox HJxmjmoN, and co^im or social system $ 219 

into another, Vhm m Army officer may fjc stripped of his hitignia. The 
njsxnmary formula which vtprn&c* his vidatfon uj the Army code h 
''conduct unbecoming to an officer/* Similarly, 3 clergy niun who fails tci 
conform in ay he unfrocked. A iuun who docs not bcliavc like a gentle¬ 
man b pm into the class of “bemr.” Small lx>ys who do not conform 10 
the pattern* of their class become +l ri*saes. Sl 

I t is remarkable to no te in the Lire rat ure of sodrffogy and culruml an- 
thmpdogy how Jitrfe attention U paid to etiquette. One may lixili through 
the tables of enntents of many works wit hour ever finding a chapter on 
this subject. Yet the system of rtdes and sanctions tJtar we call etiquette 
b one of the most powerful and important mechanisms of wily society'. 
The comriburion made by 1 code of etiquette to the order, integrity* 
and effective functioning of a sodety is enormous. It is interesting to 
contrast the attention given to ethics with that given to etiquette. The 
literature nn ethics is very ewnsivc indeed. It 1* .1 characteristic trait of 
our nvvn culture char so much anenrion should he paid ro ethics and so 
linle to etiquette/* An adequate scientific analysis of social systems, how¬ 
ever, would place etiquette on □ par at least “with ethics. There is B as 3 
matter of fact, some evidence that systems of etiquette are in many in¬ 
stances even mure powerful and effective than ethics as means of regulat¬ 
ing sockl intercourse. In the first place, violations of rules of etiquette 
are always punished* because such violations arc always observed. An 
act committed in solitude does nut come within the scope of etiquette, 
and hence cannot Lm? a violation of its code. Those who violate rules of 
ethics, on the other hand, arc not always punished. The violation may nor 
be observed, or the vioLior n my not be apprehended. Or, if caught, 1 st 
may csca[*c punishment, In our own society, for example, many oiTetaders 
get off scot-free. But in the ease of violation* of rules of etiquette, punish¬ 
ments ate certain, anil often extremely painful/* No one wants to be 
"talked a ho tit / 1 Ridicule b painful. To he "snnbl*cd 1k is very liard 10 bear, 
ami complete ostracism is virtually intolerable.. 

As suggested above, it b perhaps because our own society is so much 

11 Anwticairi* are ail f?hies-rh)dwi jrepple- 'They never tire uf ha* ingues on the itih jext 
of good and evil—and "*m-" Mont crusades, to fid the nation cf aknhotie beverages, 
nr to purge the planet of amit iiixcmiuoiuJ Evil One pr mi odam* form of govern' 
merit* teem Kwt to fin d favor with them On the other hand, count lea Eumpeua 
viiirarL bfiih before and cincc Dc Tt>ct|iic Himct .Uaitintiu. ct iL, have com- 
mentrd on the Ijid nmoneti* of Hmrrt tepirw Ammranfmii, 

■ In incroir Ptrcr + nobles who violated Lewt were ranmocty pymfahrH by public 
riilicnJc radter than by irnprimnmrai, torture, or <xMUliiu u "Ib^i law .., held th*£ 
public ridicule and Itas of office hart 1 noble » tsnieh n oik or tartute would a 
mmt, amf that the prevrige of il vr ikiUm a% ■ eliF* mmt br Upheld." John H. 

R' ^e, M lm I Cjihure ir the I irrie of the S|unith Cwmpes:." in Hadhook el Smith 
dw+tlCAtt fnJjjn E, VjHitl v-j- ! nirt*i |_LLisj|-jl BumLE uJ AitKnCBl Ethnology, 104 &i p. W' 


more concerned with etiquette ihan with cthk* that we fail 
jvstcms of etiquette os powerful influence* our society and Jail to re C o b - 
rflic the contribution made by them. Jn miter cultures, however, the sig¬ 
nificance of etiquette may be appreciated and I id 
chose of clitics and law. Titus, for example,* European Htstomn. after 
discussing the importance of social ritual in oU Japan, remarks that even 
in certain quarters in Europe, Ceremony lias been a much more potent 
thing tbm q Religion, while even now a breach of etiquette sometimes 
entJb graver Si penalties upon the offender than flagrant outrages on 
wtei/lIU viral immorality Jo io tta Wgltlv moral .nJ oomp a raov,ly 
democratic British Empire under the sway of King Edward Vli. 

With regard to the question of evolutionary- development, the situation 
i„ the c fl se° of etiquette is essentially like that of ethics: we can discern 
no evolution of etiquette as such. Codes of coquette Ike those of etlucs 
are aspects of social systems; they are nut something ihat can be evaluated 
independently and apart from their respective contexts. Some soueties 
may ejtipltaa'zc rules of enqueue more than others or, more properly 
speaking, may exhibit more elaborate codes than other*. In some resptec, 
etiquette is more important, relatively speaking, in prwimve cultures 
than in civilized societies; in other respects, however, tt is ledimportant. 
In primitive society, communities are relatively small, social inter*-ou 
is to a great extent intimate and personal, most of one s contacts are y 
relatives, friends, close neighbors, nr acquaintances, Courts of law. I™* 
and penal procedures arc rare or lacking. In such sociocultural systems, 
therefore, emits of etiquette play a very prominent and important ro,e 
in the regulation i.f social life. Tlw extern to which primitive people* 
are governed or dominated by the social forms of proper behavior lias 
often ijccn commented upon. On the oilier band, the number and v inciv 
of classes are much greater in advanced civilized cultures than on tnbal 
levels. In addin on to the universal classes of sex, age, and marital sumi* 
there arc occupational group, professional daises social strata, of c rs " 
nobility, etc. The need"for rules to regulate the behavior ot these eases 
is therefore very great. By and large, it would appear that the important 
of rules of etiquette is approximately uniform throughout the van 
stages of cultural development. . 

A final word concerning the present status and possible future c 
of etiquette. M uc luive noted above, the requirements and prohibit 
of codes of ctiquetie often seem not only capricious but lotions- 
Furthermore, son* of diem actually tend to decrease the welfare ot 
dividual members of society at certain points while working lor 

- jimM Murdoch, A Hinorj of fj pan, vul, t, Tlit Aside Society ol Jspan. 

1^10, ijp* 


integrity anti orderliness of flic society as a wdiolc. In some instances rule* 
of etiquette make fur economic waste. As Vcblcn pointed out, some of 
the marks of social status require ^conspicuous consumption and \vaste P FH 
Food, duthing and other goods arc often wasted in order to satisfy the 
canons of good taste and status. Bodily discomfort b not infrequently 
caused by the observance of rafts of etiquette Tattooing, head deforma¬ 
tion, the piercing of cars for pendants and of lips for plugs and labie*** 
scarification, cutsets and stays, the bin ding of feet, liigh-hetted ^hoes, 
starched collars, cic. + may cause pain and much discomfort And in some 
instances one's hcakh may be impaired* as, for example, when etiquette 
require* a person to wear clot hi tig that is excessively hoi or obstructs 
free respiration* 

The discomforts and disadvantages that rules of coquette work upon 
the individual, phis the apparent !y irrational amt senseless nature of many 
articles of die codes, have caused many to regard H 'conventions" as bur 
senseless survivals of au eulier and less ratiOEuI era and have led them to 
tile cone fusion that they can and should be dispensed with. But such 
reasoning b: EmlividuAl-ccmered; it fails to realize that etiquette L a socio¬ 
cultural process or mechanism. Etiquette is inseparable from dosses, and 
class structure is and will remain universal in human society, God® and 
cotivemiuns will therefore be with m always But there b still this ques¬ 
tion “Cannot systems of etiquette accomplish their purpose without pro¬ 
moting wustc, bodily discomfort, or injury to the hen lib—in short, arc 
ttot r&iond systems of etiquette possible?" Here. as in the case of ethics, 
we see the possibility of change in the direction of the rational, We may be 
sure rhat social systems will condone to avail themselves of cod® of 
etiquette as mechanisms of order and integration indefinitely* Bur when 
and j& civilization becomes more rational and humane, it seems probable 
diat codes of etiquette will be modified in this direction also. 

Kimbtp jystem* A kinship system h a powerful and effective mccha- 
nbm of social integration ;md control, as we have already made dear in mir 
earlier discussion of this subject- Jt should be pointed om here, however, 
that the rales which regulate kinship systems arc those of both ethics 
and etiquette. On rhe one hand, the behavior of 3 person toward his 
relatives is regulated so that die general welfare of the cmiie group of 
kindred will be promoted, And on the other hand, patterns nf behavior 
proper TO his various classes of relatives, affinal and consanguine, arc pre¬ 

Custom >md l&w* One may draw a logical distinction between custom 
and law easily enough. Practically and empiric all v, however, it is some- 
rimes difficult or even impossible to do so. The regularities, umformitie^ 

*ja romrtffl cifLixftf. 

ttn d continuities of hmm«xfa ***** tJl3t wc *"» c **f c TJ^r, 
St as moral imperative, by member, of society- If. people toiBi 
certain wav. ref tab from eating terrain annuals or habitually cat tlierti, 
point their faces nr blacken their teeth, there tends to *• a heling that one 
l» R ki to tit*, or refrain from doing, these things and in the proper tc 
cJUnarv. way- If all males In ytmt society wear their hair tong, « 
bSken their teeth, then yon, an adult male member. M 
To do so « to proclaim your oneness, your solidarity, with them; to do 
otherwise is to proclaim voutsclf different, a pm who is m* one uf 
them," which might mean in some instances a person who could not be 
rdied upon in an emergency—perhaps even a traitor. Custom is nght. 
therefore one ought to do what is customary. ... 

Infractions or violations of customary regulations arc pimuhtd. as 
we have seen, by ridicule, ostracism, and, in some cases- by rcuhamm b> 
in injured parry. Bur by whom is the punishment meted oufr Vr< m« 
distinguish.logically, ewn agencies nf punishment and discipline: 0 ) 
cwmtnnhv in general, U.. an unspecified, anonymom uiuiifTcrenim d 
aggregation of fellow tribesmen or cimttre, such as a local band, a village, 
or neighborhood; or (i) a special social or political mechanism, acting 
hi the 'name of and bv the authority of the society as a whole, such a. 
chief, council of elder;, policemen and courts. In the one case vve ar 
doling, by definition, with custom; in (he other, with law. Law. there¬ 
fore, is a special category of custom; a law is a custom the violation o 
which is punished by a society hy means of a sp«*ial social mechanism. 

The foregoing logical distinction is valid as well as clear. But rhe prac¬ 
tical application of the two concepts, law and custom, is not always caw. 
When will an act he considered an offense agdnsr custom and when 
against taw? In our society, if t man should wear earrings, or a woman 
smoke a cigar in public, k is probable that neither would be arrested al¬ 
though he nr she might be; there are Cases of this sort on record- I W“ 
deviations from social noniis may be. and in all probability wmih , 
punished as offenses against custom- But it is not likely that they *oui 
he considered as having violated 3 liw* however, one s \ou esc 
a speed limir, or throw liis garbage in the street- lie might well be arrestt 
as a violator of the law. How. then, are we to cell what is custom "»« 
w hat is law in rhe disciplinary and punitive functions of social sykem • 

By oof definition, an offense is a violation of bl 0 if it is puiushfl c > 
a society as a whole by me,Mr of a special lociat tttechjttitm. If it is p un 
ished merely in general, by the community is a whole, but by the mem¬ 
bers of society rather than by and through some special msimmen 
means to which public authority and power are delegated, then the ' - 

fense is against custom. . , l. 

In connection with the question of punishable offenses, it wouin 


weU Td distinguish between crimes and rum, A crime is an offense the 
punishment of which is .1 monopoly of the cwrantiniiv, or social *vsrem 
is a whole- A tort is an offense which ntiy be punished, or avenged* hv 1 
rite injured party. A crime is therefore a public matter; a tort. a private 
one, j 3 though the whole community mac he vitally interested in it, 

If Ijw is distinguished from custom by the fact that the former involves 
tfit punishment of violations of the society's code of behavior by the 
public authority of the society exercised through 3 special instnimtnrifity, 
then we must examine these incremental tries. 

As we have noted repeatedly, u society may he highly homogeneous, 
or generalized, structurally and functionally, or ir may lie differentiated 
structurally and specialized functionally, A biological organism* for ex¬ 
ample, may or may not have special smiciurcs, or organs* of locomotion* 
nutrition, etc* Similarly, a social system may or may not have differ- 
cntLircd and specialized structures for certain functions such 95 integration 
and regulation- In the operation of custom in general, there are no special 
social mccfnmbms; the society as a whole functions as a syitcttt of custom. 
A kinship system* for example* is but an aspect of the society as a whole. 
But in tlic case of law, of crime ami punishment, the social system func¬ 
tions through special social structures or mcchamsms. These are headmen, 
councils of elders* chiefs^ ih-i fruits, priests* secret societies clubs, etc. T 
in societies organized on the Uiti* of Irintiiip, and the police, courts, pris¬ 
ons, etc., in civil societies 

The earliest human societies were, as we have sec 11* relatively small and 
discrete territorial groups, or bands, each of which was made up of fam¬ 
ilies It would be hardly proper to spenk of ^trueriirally differentiated 
and specialised mechanism* of social regulation .md control in these pri- 
niordi:il societies. These social systems were regulated by custom in gen¬ 
eral, by rite special systems of etiquette* ethics and kinship. There were, 
however* rudimenrarv beginnings of such specialized medianisms, namely, 
^ra dmat' By this term we mean simply a man w ho* because of bis superi¬ 
ority over lib Inflows, in Terms of physical prowess, skill, force of char¬ 
acter or personality, knowledge or wisdom* serves a* a means of coordina¬ 
ting and directing the activities of his fellows no eertnin occ^siems. it 
^linuld !>c noted that even if all men were absolutely etjua] in ah their 
abilities, it would still be desirable* from the standpoint of security and 
survival* to have the activities of a number of associated individuals co¬ 
ordinated and directed, at certain times at I tail, by one person. Concerted, 
cooperative, group action may be more effective."in terms of food getting* 
protection* md defense* than individualistic effort. There are many oc- 
cations, in hunting, fishing* and in offense and defense, etc., in which 
success would be made more sure by directed, coordinated action. But 
to achieve this, there most he a means, a mechanism! of coordination and 

ij4 nnttitnt emww 

regulation. In the earliest of human societies this ftedmtm was rite hnd- 

we have just seen, headmen, leaders, would he necessary m times 
even though all men were absolutely equal in all respects. But of coiitue 
men are not equal; nn the contrary. they differ rather widely m many 
rejects. We may assume, therefore, that in the earliest human socetj*- 
\Jt n in those of their prehuman forcbcars-i few individuals stood out 
among their fellows because they possessed certain qualities or abilities 
in hnit-T measure or in more intense form dun the rest. They were the 
ones who rank charge on certain occasions, who served to coordinate che 
activities of the group and to direct tlwir eflons. t hey were like the 
individuals who spontaneously find themselves in a position of leadership 
on temporary occasions in our own society. _ , 

One commonly hears of headmen among very primitive groups, sue 
as the Eskimo, for example, bur tliert arc relatively few' and (nfretpjem 
allusions to beadtwen, This is probably because the male sea is the 
dominant one in the human species, as it Is in some subhuman primate 
species. The male, therefore, takes the predominant role as a rule m the 
principal life-sustaining activities of the group on very low cultural IcseU 
natnelv, hunting and defense-offcose. A man, rather than a woman, _ 
he die head of the local group, Women differ in thdr qualities ami Abil¬ 
ities as men Jo, and some may stand out and exercise functions of integra¬ 
tion and leadership on certain occasions and to ,1 limited extern* But t 
hardly warrants the term "head woman.” The vital activities of the group 
are dominated by men; the leader must die ref ore lie a man. a headman. 

A chief is merely a formal recognition of the headman, there air v - in " 
ous gradations of chieftainship in the spectrum of special mechanisms u 
integration and regulation. A lieadman may Ire said to be self-sappoilttcd 
and gtoup-acccpteiL A formal and explicit recognition of this fact may 
be called chieftaimhip. Griefs, too, may be self-appointed lf, d 
accepted, or they may be selected by the group. The latter may he re¬ 
garded as more advanced from the standpoint of social evolution bej^usi* 
it represents a greater role for society as compared with the individm . 
The next stage would be heredifary chiefs rather than elective officers. 
A man chosen for the office of chieftain is likely to lie superior m one 
who inherits the office, since a free choice would be made upon a basis o 
merit, w hereas a hereditary successor to the office may or may not have 
the requisite qualities and abilities. The disadvantage of the ptincip < ® 
inheritance is somewhat lessened, however, by the fact that the oi lc 4 J^ 
usually confined to a certain lineage within which the sclecriiwl can 
made from a number of candidates. The advantages, however, of > n ' er 
iLiner over selection in the office of chieftainship ate very considers ^ 
Tlic principle of inheritance gives a greater degree of cononuity to t 


ofEcc than dots selection. Tills makes for .1 more orderly succession, and 
consequently greater stability of social order. Even in some: advanced 
systems* such as of the Ganda of Uganda. where succession to the 
oi ficc of king is supposed to be hereditary, the country fall? into virtual 
chaos and anarchy upon die death of the king, as the various princes re- 
son to force of arm* to seize the throne, En this ease the principle of suc¬ 
cession by inheritance Li not well established- Had it been, succession to 
rise kingship Would have been orderly and peaceful The principle of in¬ 
heritance of office makes, therefore, for a definite, peacefu!* and orderly 
succession. It fosters a higher degree of integration and solidarity. The 
office of heredifary chief evolve* eventually into that of king, as wc shall 
set later. 

Plater* In some tribal system but relatively very fcw + die authority 
of ihe chief is backed up by the physical force of a body of policemen. 
The buffalo-hunting irihes of the North American Plains provide its with 
Che best—if not the only— example of police in social systems based upon 
kinship. In their mode of life it Ls imperative that rhe memhen of the tribe 
conform stria ly to n pi no of concerted action at certain rimcs„ such os 
communal hunt? and marches from one camp site to another. To disregard 
The plan and orders of the hunt chief mighr stampede the bison herd and 
deprive the camp of food; an unwise act while on the march might jeopar¬ 
dize the safety of all. Tn a number of tribes therefore, the authority of 
the hunr. or tribal, chief is backed up by police, who may punish or kill 
offenders The composition of the police force varies somewhat: usually 
they arc otic of several military societies into which the men of the tribe 
ire organized. 

Thse instances of political authority, supported by military force* arc 
the first adumbration of the armies and militia of civil societies. 

C&tmah arc special mechanisms of social control in many sociocultural 
systems and on various levels of development, from the primitive aborig¬ 
ines of Australia to ihe intensive ngricuFmralivts of (be pueblos. They may 
he comporsed of rhe gId men of the community as in Australia or of the 
mature men u in the Rb Grande pueblos. Or they may lie made np of 
chiefs i 5 in the case of some of the Plains tribes of North America- In 
any event, the council is a pm of the conttnimiry sir tribe acting for die 
society as j whole. 

Shammt and prices. En discussing shamanism as an trample of division 
of labor, we noted that the medicine man has secular function* erf social 
control in many cultures, He may act as watchdog over his fellow rribe*- 
mert to see that they do nor violate custom or law. Priests, too, have these 
politkal functions As a matter of fact, social control especially keeping 


the subordinate dosses in their place, docile and »b«rrirnr is . critically 
important function of the priesthoods m must id tlir uvi\ socicr(CS of 
jJEr Crural levels. as we shell see liter in the chapter on the **» 

tocietiti function as spedul mechanismof soctal coarrol i"jo"* 
cultures, particular!v in west Africa and pans of Melanesia. 1 lie Ka 
socisrtv income of ihc Southwestern pueblos also senes in tins »[»<■«£ 
On ceremonial occasions, the societies appear, dressed as gods, and punish 

violators against cnsioin. , . , . ,_j 

We dtu* see what sort of special mechanisms <>f social r ^ uk 
control evist in tribal societies based upon ues of himhip. The Ab fLu! ' 
rural Revolution rendered social orgai&rion on tins basis ab#>\tn md 
replaced it with a different form in which the special mechanism of «®al 
intecrarion, reqularion. and control grew greatly m magnitude and p™«. 
This mechanism was die stare church- We shell deal with it at length later. 


In previous chapters we bare sketched the c volts Hon of primitive cuhunc 
front two principal standpoints, technological ami sucuL In the Utter 
category we have dealt with social organization in general and wtrli bin- 
ship t division of labor, and social control in particular. We now under¬ 
take ro trace the course of cultural development from the standpoint of 
economic organization. But what is economic:? Unfortunately there is 
considerable confusion among cultural amlimpologists on this point , 1 
so we must deal with it at once before turning to primitive cultures them- 

One can tell whether a given atom i$ hydrogen or not by looking at it, 
so to speak. If it has one electron revolving about its nucleus, it is hydro¬ 
gen- if it has- two, it is helium. Likewise, one cun tell whether * spethes of 
animal is mammalian or not bv observation: jf 11 suckles its yming it is 
mammalia^ if lc does nor T ic is nor mammalian. But one cannot tell by 
looking ar ot by any other kind of cxaminnrion, whether a given event 
is economic or pot. Suppose A gives // an arrow- ts this an economic 
event? Suppose that A gives B an arrow and fl gives A a string of beads 
in return, is the transaetiun an economic one? The answer as, it all de¬ 
pends-When A gives an arrow to B k might mean that B is to succeed 

A as chief priest of the tribe. Or handing ihc arrow to B might be a chal¬ 
lenge to fight, and the handing of beads to A by B might indicate an 
acceptance of the challenge, or an offer of indemnity. We would not wish 
to call these events economic. 

Whether an event is economic or not depends upon the Context in 
which u c appreciate its significance* A thing or an event is just what it is* 

1 "There h tM other u*pcci of primitive lifer sty* Alaiinuw^ki. “’where our Lnowl- 
l> more icunty and our iindcrsEamtmg more iu|Ki 1 ical than iii Fxemomin. 

I IcFier* muennr epiiorr U rampant, ind k k Heredity m elm Hie ground when *[> r 

prtjaduijg *uy K'ORIII s?k Mihjierr." 8 Mrimofllki, At^tntJUlf tff the Wettem Pacific, 

Houtkd^ and Kt-^n Paul, Ltd., l.undan, jpn, p. *4- We do- not f«1, iinwe«cr» di*r 
Ablirmfwiilft iwxeeikd vrry well in clearing up idscoficeptiMUt « we shall nertt later, 


pRIwm Tt CUtTL'AE 

» ihinc or an event- Whether a thing or event is »n ccoitomic 

- «.rl n-rir rdimoin or astronomical datum depends upun the u u, ■ 
observe* » a thing of significance. A Chinese porcelain vase 
is a Hiinec porcelain vase. or. more precisely. a form and maymtude of 
gbzed. fired clay is .. form and magnitude of gla/ed, fired cfa£ " * 

vase may be significant to us in a variety of contexts: (>b| c 

of art), commercial (article of merchandise), scientific (an artifact), 
legal (as exhibit A m a tattHUt)* 

Anything moy t> e referred to my eon text. It might not *lw*£snate—either common sense or sciciUific sense-to place my etetit in 
any contest, but this is an entirely different matter. My 
words can hr meaningly referred to an astronormc contc ™^™^ { 
expended lias come from the sun, it has reached me ™ the P™'* 
photosynthesis and the substances of food, it * transformed 
If m^bolimi {which gives ns a physiologic context), and * «P C "™ 
in the operation of a mechanical device called a typewriter \\ tadiw a 
, nr event is to t>c reckoned as economic or not depends, there tore, 
utMm contest. But whtt is an econo™ 1 - comexc? 

An economic context , as we define the term, must have four Chirac e - 
istics. First Of all, it must be sociocultural in character Secondly,, « ' 

voh'ts the appropriation of things from the exrentd! wori - 
these tilings are used to satisfy a need of human beings. And finally, j uUlia 
energy mult be expended in mating these things available fur human 
consumption, Let us consider these factors in turn. 

“Sociocultural” limits economic tiling and events to the human fcc'es, 
ir excludes activities of birds, beavers, ants, and so on, that are more ->r Wffl 
analogous to our own. If this seems arbitrary, .r must be rernemwreu 
That all definitions arc arbitrary', Furthermore, there is a fundamental, 
qualitative difference between human imJ non human behavior, as * 
noted in Chapter «, “Man and Culture." Economic btbmot » 
well as miturd. It is a process of interaction among persons; the HObBBOO 
Cnjsoes and Alexander Selkirks have no economic life. Merely picking 
and eating wild Ixrries. or catching a fish and caring ir, is not to be * 
oned an economic activity: monkeys can pick hemes, and utters can - 
fish. Economic, then, by definition, musr tie both social and ™J ur ”' 

tn Chapter i, “Man and Culture," we distinguished two kinds of 
of human beings: < t) those which can be served only by drawing up 
the resources of nature, and (2) those tint do not require dungs from “ 
external world. Economic is concerned with rhe first of these two » 
of needs only. 1 may have need for ennsobtion. and dm need may 
served by prayer or by a friend. But the need is not econonnc-by detmi 



To be counted a* economic, j thing or process mini satisfy some 
human need, If one expended labor upon the appropriation and trails - 
formation of materials Liken from nature, it would nor be economic if 
the reside was of tin use or value to anyone. 

Human labor, ’which may of course be supplemented by energy from 
nonlioman sources,, must be expended in the satisfaction of needs with 
materials taken from the external world. Breathing air, smelling a rose, 
and admiring a sunset arc not to be co anted as economic activities because 
no S.iJ ji>t Ls expended in the processes. If t however, the air were compressed, 
the rose used to make perfume, or the sunset reproduced on canvas, it 
could qualify as economic since each would require the expenditure of 
human labor 

Economic systems must be distinguished from technologic systems. 
The two are much alike; cadi k concerned with the appropriation of 
tilings from the external world by means of human labor and for the 
purpose of satisfying human needs. And in many ethnographic mon- 
ograplis wc find a section, or a chapter, entitled ‘'Economic Life*" which 
is devoted to a description of the construction and operation of a loom, 
the manufacture of salt nr pigments* or orher like matferr. The economic 
context is distinguished from the technologic context by the fact that the 
Ewer is characterized by things in terms of their inherent properties and in 
tem< of their relations to one another: the properties of day. for example, 
and tempering material, the toub and techniques in pottery unking, and 
so on. The economic process, on the other hand, is charocierfr-ed by a kind 
of relationfhip xm&ftg hmmn brings: giver; recipient; debtor, creditor; 
buyer, seller; or mutual silaring¬ 
le fa run difficult to distinguish oat kind of context from another in 
logical analysts. Bur it is not always easy to determine the context in which 
a thing or event may have its chief significance—and. of cOUrte* it may he 
simultaneously significant in a number of contexts- Wc noted earlier that 
writing this chapter lias significance in an astronomic context. But, we 
earnestly hope* this is not its chief significance. Some royalties, may accrue 
res the author when the hook is published, thus making the writing sig¬ 
nificant in an economic context. But this, too* is not the chief significance 
of the actiirity from the standpoint of the writer. For him* understanding 
culture and the communication of this undemanding are the principal 
features of his labors. 

Suppose Mr. and Mrs. X purchase a turkey* ro$$t it and sen t it, with all 
the customarv accompaniment*, ar a dinner to which .Vli\ V has been in¬ 
direct. Is ihis to be reckoned as an economic event or not? The answer is, 
it is not an cither-or situation; it mav be significant in both economic and 
noneconomic contexts, and these may varv widely in relative magnitudes. 
Let m suppose that Mr, and Mrs. X are wealthy* w hich makes the cost of 

aao MUMrnvBi culture 

“ P C°“ y »«nq Crow Wi*n .ml Hb <**« g« thirty l»*>» *■ 

^ssrtsa^Jifts jsf r »* 

Lrriacc brals up the groom anti Kk relatives may demand the return 
JSXS TO w J* iule. in this case, ita* fs *!»* 

Ls to be rcsrirded primarily as a social affair, and only sccondard)' an *-*■ 

t£X32 Til. Chirr -i to hr .end ^ 

amutiul-aid relationship. between two group or rriamo* Hie 
;™ ;*1“n,rrrlv . mSlu. »<l not rvrn on «mW mr.os ... dm end. 

We are face to face with a reel and an important problem Matty 
because mmc sociocultural process has some obvious economic c 
k£Ti£ follow that * chief significance lies in the «»«««£ 
It may be primarily a social ritual who* pwpo* » to *"*1 
needs.’ such a, conferring or transmitting an hm. «* M« 
economic factor are of significance merely as means 10 * 

be unfortunate, from the standpoint of an understand,^ of F 
culture or our own, to present and interpret a social nnial as an 
institution. We would not. for example, discuss marmot * 

i n .T of “economics'’ because the bridal costume cost a comuicnbl _ 
of mono- But this is fast whs* some ethnologists iovc doneiuponiocesa _ 
tSSS ~o iLm: .he p«M Td d» «..Bo* ta«h«J 
treated as economic institutions by not a few ethnologists. 
course, that both insrinitions contain economic elements, (usi as E 
nm^volec the purchase or a bridal gown. But both the potlatch a j 
IK Ilk. ihe*inslituikin of m«rri,gc. fad ft* <tef «««*£ 
significance tn the contest of social ritual; the economic factor 
dimte and is significant only as a means to the end 
Th. potto* k - M»*» to *0 coin™ Of .—** “ f 
nil*. <>f the Northwest Oust of Aimnn: Iht I. ' ^ 

other?- It involves the distribution of blankets by a person am j g 
relatives. After ■ time, the relatives return these blajktj P*« 
more. This process is commonly chamctcnzcd as ending at a h gh 
0 f interest"-, Benedict has termed it “usury:* * The ‘ underlying pnnap^ 
■ Ruth Benedict. Ptfiw of Culmre, Houghton Mifllin Company, BoW3n> 
p- <84* 



of the pjtbteh* says Boss, *is char of the ime rest-bra ring investment of 
pmpeiw.* a The vocabulary is that of economies, and the impression is 
conveyed that the institution h essentially an economic one. The ^economic 
system —■ finds its expression in the so-called "poebteh/" Boas tell? us.* 
Ruth Buruid treats the potlatch as an economic iiutitiitiiJrt/ 

But co present the potlatch as an economic instinuion is il> offer a 
distorted picture of the institution and a muddied conception of economic 
proc&ics. The potlatch is primarily and essentially 3 social ritual/ Its 
chief purpose is to traasfer, or to validate the transfer, of honors or pres¬ 
tige, Ft is a mejru of satisfying one of that class of needf tliar can be served 
without drawing upon the resources of 1 he externa] world—except in¬ 
cidentally* perhaps, and then only aa ft means to an end. h is a social game, 
and it is no mure made an economic institution by the "'lending of prop¬ 
erty at inrereu" and the extravagaric destruction of property at the feast 
than chess is made sin economic activity because ivory chasten emi 

Tile same general comment may be made about the tub, so well de¬ 
scribed hv .Malinowski for fhe Trobrbnd Founder* of Melanesia and their 
neighbors- Fri the kub, n group of people make 1 circuit of a number of 
bhrtds exchanging shell arm hands for bead necklace* with their inhab¬ 
itants. The kub |d is concerned with the exchange oF wealth and utilities/ 
ttys Malinowski, “therefore it is an economic institution/ * Bur his de- 
script inn (if it makes it quite dear that it is not to be so considered ac¬ 
cording rn our definition, Ak KuIa exchange ... can never be barter/ he 
says, Jl a direct exchange with assessments of equivalents and with hag¬ 
gling/' Tile natives, too, “sharply distinguish it from barren w hich they 
practise otemivdy* of which thev have a dear idea, and for which they 
have a settled term/ * 

The kola is a sodopsyciiological game. Ami bands sire exchanged for 
strings of heads in a formal* ritual manner, The objects remain in. circula¬ 
tion indefinitely, traveling a definite circuit among a number of istanda, 
one kind going one way, the other in the opposite direction. Exchange 
takes place only between certain hnJividuab* ilie kub partners. To par- 

f Fn«E Bom., Tfrt Swrixl QrgJftrzjiiGn MftJ Seem Sadtmt of thi Kimkiuti tndisni, 
Rvpf^n of rite U^i. NalHiTlil XfLtStam for p. 341* 

Tnmi Boil, The Xnnh-Msiem Tribe* of Quid*." Report of ibe Sixty-eighth 
Mcriin# of the Eeiwb Atioeimh# for the Advancement of Scimett Lonilon, iffejjj. 

p- 681. 

4 Buth IkmEtk 'The Economic Qfpnbatirm of Primitive People*" in Getttrji 
nMbropfii&gy, Fiam Baas (edh Jg^fp, 

- lliifi feet is recognized by *oiiic who ntvcttbtlts* treat it ft* art ceonomic £0- 

- MriumwiH, ftp. tit. 

5jj miMntvr cvtrua* 

firiMic i> a privilege; to hold one of the articles of exchange* an honor, 
Hc« «in the potSch,« have a game the purpose of which is to confer 
honor and distinction, a way of making life pleasant and jesting. The 
shells ami necklaces are merely instruments with which the garnetspbjwL 

- : j :t, idbs SK35 ass as *. 


trophies. Similarly the fttrf of the kulu. tlit objects which 
niav tie referred tu the economic systems of tlic various tubes. 

2 dements as such, as counters in a social game, they are not economic 


From the standpoint of our analysis, there are logically onls two 

of ituermediarc or composite systems. In one of th^e ma l u - F“. 
factor that determines the system and gives it its distinctive Ll,aI J* 
the relationsfiip between persons as human beings. In the lir,!fift „ _ 
terminant is the relationship between good* » object We ™*>’ 1 
these two types in the following way. In Figure 9-1, ^ and B P 


Figure 9-1. Analysis of ihe process of exchange- 

[ and II are good* produced by human labor and capable of 
human needs. At the outset, A owns I; B owns II, A and B c * e J^ . 
comb hi that in the end A owns H. B [*«***« I- The various 
^lios within this system, for it is indeed a whole economic system ^ 
expressed here in its simplest terms, are shown by the arrow b 

agrsm. A b rclamd to the object he owns at the namely, ■ ^ 

similarly related to II, The acr of exchange however. «‘|v 
becomes ii3S owner. Similarly, B becomes tvhrc tu j j g t 

change does more than this. It not only brings die two pci's , 


into a specific relationship 10 each orher; tr brings the two objects. T and 
IT, into mutual relariofiship as wdL Thus, in this system, we have a net¬ 
work of intett* litlonships w Siich bind together all the elemeftcs concerned 
into a unity. Hue what is the character of the unity* of the systemr We 
have already supplied the answer: the system ecifl be dominated dikef by 
the reUtiomhrp betvsten persons (A strut B) or by the relationship between 
U and //). TEiis means that in the former case the relationship bc- 
rween goods is determined by* acid is dependent upon, the relationship 
between the persons; in the latter, the rtlaDcmriup between persons is 
determined by and subordinate to die relationship between things. Tims 
wc hove systems that arc not only different, but diametrically opposite. 
Let us ill ns Erase with examples* 

Ixt us suppose that A and B in the diagram are friends and neighbors 
of each mhcr. I and II arc shim anil sox, respectively, if you wbh io 
refer rhe exchange m our society, or arrows and buck skin if the re Tc re Lite 
b ten be to primitive culture. The exchange takes place because they arc 
mutuuil friends and neighbors. This social relation?, hip finds exp region in 
the act of exchange: their friendship h reaffirmed. A and B are also re¬ 
lated to both objects* I and II; each gives up the one and acquires the 
other. But rhere h more to this tlun relationships terween persons and 
between pcrsnnv and objects: 1 and II are broughr into relationship to 
cadi other, as objects* by the act of exdiange. If this is not at once apparent, 
it is because the relationship between the objects is obscured by the re¬ 
lationship between the persoas and this, in turn, is because the one rela¬ 
tionship is subordinate to and dependent upon the other. Iw the example 
under consideration it is rhe relationship between persons that dominates 
rhe transaction nnd determines its character. But a relationship between 
the objects is established nevertheless. This is true despire the fact that 
there is absolutely no bargaining between A and R . But the oh jeers are 
evaluated in terms of each other for all thar. If A and R are of equal social 
status and equally able to give, a marked discrepancy in the values of I 
end T1 would be noted. The attitudes of A and B may vary in rheir reac¬ 
tion. to tliis discrepancy* of course. ,4 may be proud of the fact rhar he 
give more than lie received from B. There may be rival ry to see who can 
give most. Prestige may accrue from generosity nr Lwbhness. Or A might 
be annoyed or hurt as a toitreqticnce of receiving much less than he gave. 
Or cadi may note with satisfaction that he received a value equal to that 
giveit In any cvem, file objects 1 and \l will he evaluated in terms of 
each other* which b to say that they are brought toto relationship with 
rich other by the act of exchange. Here we have, then* true type of eco¬ 
nomic system. It h determined by the relationship between persons os 
P«^ra p the rdafinnship between objects b subordinated to the rekrion- 
ilitp betw een persons. 

ij 4 Hiwnn 

Simpp « howev ef. that A and B ante n^rlur, not * *-*«* 
-SEE ’but U owner, of commodities («*., object* Capable of ^Ltsty- 
2fi2i^U and produced by ban,an labor)-/hey M*£P A« 
mih let J fiav V*TO (farm produce) fc* iron knives (mra- 

frticlt Naturdly they do not make the exchange fur the fun 

jTfiSta »Lv,L**h»»,p ..* AnJ since bnd. *• 

ieco jenresens end tfflbody huouft labor, each n i'lws *nve asjsrndi 
i nti^c as he can from the transaction. The knife cost itt maker so 

-fc - * ,■** -**t l ; n!™ nhtxin as much of yams for hxs bf.{k. 
labor) as possible. On the other hand, the y-itm have cos he farmer la tor, 
IndhewEhS to get as many knives or as pood a knife <*'» much Ln.te ) 
for his vims as he can. Consequently cacti weighs the product of the mhet 
£££* hbm They bargain: he., they balance one magnitude of 
value against another in tern* of their need or desire. Finally the wchim 
fa effected, and (he farmer goes home with Ins km re, the artisan, with hk 

> ^comparison of this cs^iiple with the previous one will discloKm/y 
or MndT two pmo* exchange «d. ■ «* 

Lher in each instance. In cadi act of exchange permits an 
j-cUrr in a social relationship* in cadi a rclatmiiship is established towew 
the objects exchanged. These two types of exchanger 
tcnV _ar C alike in cenain particulars, but in particukus only, as - 
]V nrms they are diametrically opposite. In the one mmcf* « ■*“ 
S$1H^ that determines the nature of the ^ 

as a whole, in the other, it is the relationship between objects u flicl ?' 

The system its chancier. The one is personal, the other unpcrsonaL And 
as in "the one C** the relationship between objects was 
jcured, by the relationship between persons, so m the other, ht J®~*~ 
shiptativeen objects tends to conceal Of obscure the tetano^p 
persons. In the case of the farmer and the artisan ewchangmg pm* * 
knives in a face-to-face transaction, it ts not difficult to recogni, 
existence of a soda! relationship between them, although even her 
attention is likely to be » fired upon the objects and the 
is worked out between (hem that the social relationship l*™ cC *™J e . 
sons is apt to be undervalued, if not ignored entirely. In i JW m _ ■ 

however, it is not so easy to see that a Navajo Indian in A nr on-- 
dred miles from a railroad, is brought into social relations with the * P 
rancher of Australia w hose wool competes with his own oil rhe m ■ 
or with the coffee picker of Bmil. die sugar grower of Cuba. tin. 
maker of Massachusetts, and so on. hut such is the «se neverttieies . 

The svstems w hich we have just described are, so to S P C Y ; 
terns; ie.. they are logically distinct, each h homogeneous, they a 


ically different—opposite, in fuel. What we have described is, of course, 
a picture produced by logical analysis. This is not to say, however, that 
they are unreal; they are very real indeed. There arc, or liave sys¬ 
tems in the real world of human bcinp that correspond with our two 
types exactly and point foi point. Bur chert hav r also been economic sys¬ 
tems in so nit! cultures which are nm identical in all respects with either 
one of our types. This does nor ns tan that our types* or categories, are 
inadequate; it simply means chat there may lie system w hich are nor pure 
in the sense <jf being wholly determined by a ringlc principle. Some sys¬ 
tem* art the product of more than one principle; U^rbere are mixed as 
well as pure systems. Tims, certain systems which ar bottom rest upon 
the economic relationship between goods are modified by legislation 
which requires transactions to rake account of the person* or etas* of 
persons, involved. Sump ton n T laws, for example, restrict the full and free 
operation of a socioeconomic system in terms of purely economic riws 
and considerations Jn n free system, an ounce of gold would boy $0 much 
rilk nr ermine, no matter who owned the gold, but .sumptuary laws might 
prollibit persons of ;* certain class from wearing silk, and lienee keep 
the purchase of it from taking place, A sociological principle, one of class 
structure and prerogatives, is rims introduced iflio the economic system. 
Our own society during wartime presents another example: 1 buy gasoline 
for my car* paying hard cash for It, But no matter how much money 
1 have and wish to spend for gasoline I cannot buy more riian so many 
gallons a week. Similarly, one family can buy no more butter than another 
of equal sbe, even thmich it has ten rimes a& much money which it would 
like to spend for food Ail tins, of course, disregards Hie so+ralled brick 
markets. These illegal markets are simply the principle of the relation¬ 
ship between things asserrmg itself over the relationship between per- 
sons. History lias* therefore, produced socioeconomic synxenu in which 
both kinds of principles arc operative. They art mixed systems. and there 
may be a great variety of mixtures. But any system that does not cor¬ 
respond to either of our two purr typ ^ 5 muse be a combination of them. 

Let us return now to die evolution of culture and we how our analysis 
of economic systems into these cwo major types will apply to sped fie 
societies and cultures. 

We find only one type of economic system in societies based upon 
kinship ties. This statement is virtually taurdogous, for societies based 
upon kinship could have no other kind of economic ay stem than one in 
winch relationships between persons cook precedence over relariomhips 
between goods. To irate the same proportion in reverse, a society whose 
economic system subordinated relationship* between persons to relation-* 
ship between goods would not and could not be based upon rite personal 

*46 pwMtnvt cuLtnut 

ti« of kinship. Tilts is not to say that nowhere in p«S<W*» societies do 
rin{ ) cuchanm raking place in terms of the values of she things ex¬ 
changed rather than in iemis of the social relationship b *" vca '_ J*' PJJ" 
sons makitw the excise. Wc find markers and wuimere* among the 
nonlire rare Lav and among many African nations. Bor these soraoeuhural 
systems have evolved so far tltar they toe already outgrown 
bisic features of primitive society and have acqu.ted some of the C^r- 
ac (eristics of civil society, such as monarch and slaves, tt e may also find 
Instances of commodity exchange among some pnironve ^ 

the inflame of higher cultures, s«h as certain groups m the Philippines 
t ,r Melanesia. But within tribal society, based upon kinship tio, wc find 
only the one type of economic system: die dctemu.iat.on of the system 
Lv'the „ta«X P ta«» I*™*. The <«.nom* *v««.n»f pnm»« 
sodetv is thus in complete lunnony with the social system. Both art based 
upon personal relations, opon cooperation and mutual ud.ln diort. pnm- 
invc society is characterized, as Morgan pointed out long ago. h> 
equality, and fraternity. The type of economic system character ^c «f 
did society, however, is at bottom the exact opposite. U it 
nutiluunan. and nonmoral. which m terms of human welfare 111 
human and immoral. It is based upon competition and 
class flubiugation and exploitation. The economic system of civd soc.ctv 
b also in harmony with its own social system. I-,berry, equity, and 
fraternity tn civil society are conspicuous by their absence But « * 
hear more about this later when we come to a discussion of economics .n 

modem Kodetv, . f .* * 

As we have'just noted, the method of exchange of goods withini prim¬ 
itive societies is. like the social system as a whole, toed upon bmsJup 
ties. Between tribes, however, there was exchange of a different v ■ 
commercial esdumge. Intertribal commerce rakes place on the tois ot 
the relationship between the articles themselves rather than opm the «- 
Iniionship between person, the relationship between persons is m«=» to the relationship between the goods exchanged. I he mu tic ■ 
chancier nf the human rebriamtup is in a rather inking wiy 

in a fonn of intertribal exchange known as the "silent trade. Here 
persons making the exchange never come into direct contact wit. o 
another at all; they' do not even see each Other. Members of one tn 
place goods for exchange in a certain place in a neutral rone between_ 
two tribal territories and then retire. Persons from the other tribe tn 
take their (roods to this place and leave them in exchange for (hose t “ e - 
find there*This docs not mean, of course, that a social relation* up * 
eween the two parties of the exchange has been done away *!»■ lt <x . 
and operates just as truly as if they met face to face in exchange, ■ _ 
the incidental character of the interpersonal relationship, the fact **“ 


is the reliitforuhip between goods chit Is paramount, b nude clear in this 
form of trade* 

Commodity exchange originated in intertribal intercourse rather than 
in imratrlbd socioeconomic processes* And all commercial mi financial 
wmjm known in human history have grown out of the economic system 
that originated in simple barter between tribes. Such systems are, how¬ 
ever, chansctcristic of civil society rather than of primitive peoples. We 
shall, therefore, reserve fuller disctmion of economic sysicuts determined 
by relationship between goods for a later chapter. 

The economic organization of primitive society is virtually identical 
with its kinship organization* The mutual-aid group organized along 
lines of consanguinity and affinity had economic activities as k% primary 
f unctions The family was the fast economic orgmnizarion p as ir was the 
fitst cooperative group. Economic organization was developed and en¬ 
larged as the coopcmrii-e kinship group was enlarged by extending the 
radius uf kinslup ries_ In almost all primitive societies of the modern 
world, however, it is nor the nuclear family, or even the extended family, 
that is the b.ivic unit of the economic organization; it is die 
group. Thl* term is inappropriate in so far as it may be applied to so¬ 
cieties in which there are no houses or other dwellings, but we have no 
better term. We mean by household group all those individuals whose 
food is prepared and served in common. TEic nuclear family as an inde¬ 
pendent 3 nd dbercEr unit h rare or wanting in primitive society; the 
exTended family ts much inure the rule. But the household group would 
he disTing»i<hrfl from the extended family in tli^t it might Include per¬ 
sons who art relatives* but not actually members, of the extended family, 
such as a widow* widower, or orphan who has* through unusual cir- 
cumnanccs, no place in a family of his own, l he family + extended or 
nuclear, would form the nucleus and probably the major part of the 
household group, but supernumeraries, as irtdleased above, would swell 
its ra/iks. The household group is therefore a very Lmpottint unit in the 
economic organization of a primitive tril>e. since it it the principal or¬ 
ganization of production,, preparation„ distribution., and consumption of 

Cooperation in the production of food in the earl test stages nf cultural 
development was possible in .some pursuits but nut in others In some 
instances hunting and fishing could lie carried on more effectively 
through cooperative action than bv individual elf on; sometimes cuoperts- 
tion was not possible or advantageous. In gathering wild plant fcK>d + 
cooperation was often nor prolific technologically, fhu even where the 
actual lecimiqurs of production dud not require or could not cmploj 
to advantage the principle of cooperation, there was nevertheless some 

148 pwMrrtvs cuiToiK 

«>dd regulation. Wc have already noted the division of labor along sex 
lines which made for cooperation and mutual dependence between men 
and women on a tribal basis and within each family « well Thus, even 
though production had, in some activities, to be earned on mdividualisn- 
CflUv so far as technology was concerned, there were a social organization 
and regulation of these add all other aspects of production. 

In some very primitive tribes there is some social regulation of con 
isimptioti (and consctjuently of production also) in terms of social classes. 
In aboriginal Australia, for example, children were not permitted to cat 
certain foods which their elders might cat. As they grew older the food 
taboo, were removed, a few at a time, until they were permitted to 
cat virtually anything in their old age. In some tribe'; there may be 
sumptuary regulations for men and women as classes. Whether regis a- 
riems of this kind can be signed to the very earliest stage of social de¬ 
velopment or not is a question that wc cannot answer, but it is nihcr 
unimportant. Their presence among rbc very primitive aborigines of 
Australia indicates that they are compatible with an extremely low degree 
of culm ml dtvclopfflc^tf and hcficc nay very ^noenc* 

]n the case of division of laltur along the lines of sex in production, 
and in the regulation of consumption in terms of age (and perhaps sex) 
classes, we have examples of the socialization of production and con¬ 
sumption along tribal and dtss lines, ft is within the realm of kinship 
relations, however, that we find the social regulation of these processes 
exerting its greatest influence in tribal society. And this regulation per¬ 
tains to consumption to a greater degree, as a rule, than to production. 
The mode of production is determined to a considerable extent by the 
technological processes with which production is carried on, i.e.. by ?ueh 
instruments as digging stick or plow 1 , potter’s wheel, forge, loom, etc, 
But the specific manner of distribution is determined by social considera¬ 
tions, and apart from a few class factors |ust noted, these are expressed 
by rules and regulations of the kinship system, in families and in local 
t"'<iups, both being bodies of kindred, the rules and patterns of kinship 
behavior determined how food was 10 be distributed. A nun or woman 
was obliged to share fond obtained through his or her efforts with cer¬ 
tain categories of relatives. Proportions or quantities were governed “I' ( | 
by customs of kinship, as we have already seen in the case of the Kurrui 
of Australia, cited in Chapter il, “Kinship" (see pp. up-no)- 
To he stine, we do not find among all primitive peoples such a neat set 
of derailed and specific rules of distribution as the Kumat possessed. Bm 
there is no difference in principle: fowl is to be shared by relatives, and the 
distribution is regulated by custom. The essence of the economic system 
of the earliest stage of cultural evolution was, then, the production, dis¬ 
tribution. and consumption of goods corned on primarily tit terms 0 

BC0NQM1C OHiCkA^iZATIO^ OF miUmVE =rfH:irTV J 49 

kinship systems in terms of specific duties privilege*, and oblige cions 
between relatives, and secondarily, by rule* of tribal urganiiatioii which 
regulated such things as division of labor and consumption in terms of 
iex and age classes* We might say\ therefore, that the economic system 
was virtually identical with the social system in general and the kinship 
system its particular, 

' Throughout the whole ecs of primitive society, Le- from the origin 
of culture until the dirimegrarion of society foilntkd upon kinship do 
and the beginning of civil society bused upon property relationships the 
principle of economic organization that we have just described pre¬ 
vailed. Development of this system consisted merely of the extension 
of reciprocity and mutual aid and the elaboration of w.icial and economic 
structure* But no new element was introduced. Throughout primitive 
society, the processes of production, exchange, and consumption within 
societies w ere carried on primarily in terms of the kinship system and 
secondarily in team of tribal classes. 

Let us return briefly at this point to the question of contests. When, 
earlier* we presented the Kurnai custom of dividing fond among rela¬ 
tives (p. lie), we remarked that tlic custom was probably is rigmhcjnc 
ns a meins of fostering solidarity as it was in the economic context of 
subsistence. How, then, are we ro regard rhe distributions and sharings of 
goods that are identified, in primitive society, with the kin ship system? 
Are they to be regarded as economic institutions or as means of fostering 
social solidarity? The answer is: both. A Chinese vase may be m object 
of an, or z scientific specimen, *i//d an article of commerce. 1 here is a 
tendency toward economy :md efficiency in the organisation and opera¬ 
tion, of sociocultural systems; these character]sties lesve a biological sur¬ 
vival value* One institution may, therefore- have more than one function 
and serve more than one cud. We have already noted the great diversity 
of use to which human social evolution has put the union between the 
sexes tit marriage. Customary division of labor between the sexes rends 
co promote economy and efficiency in the performance of certain occupa¬ 
tions, and it also fosters solidarity by making each set dependent upon 
the other. 

And so it is with kinship-economic systems among primitive peoples: 
they foster solidarity, on the one hand, and <crve economic ends, on 
the other*. In the very earliest stages of cultural evolution* when rcch-* 
Oologies were crude and meager and the struggle for existence was in¬ 
tense, the economic significance of the kinship-tScoilutnie ^ysteni may 
hive been uppermost, whereas in later and more highly developed cul¬ 
tures, with more effective technologies and a greater security of life* 
the solidarity function may have been of greater significance. But so 
much depends upon particular situations and circumstances that broad 


KnersliMtions can mean but little, And in any event, even in the highest 
of primitive cultures organized upon the bask of kinship, the economic 
significance of mutual sharing along kinship lines was never lost. The 
„ u th of tins statement is made evident by the occasional occurrence of 
crises: in times of want the sharing of fond and other served is a 
meins of social insurance, «f social security, “The law of hospitality, as 
administered by tlie American aborigines,” observed Morgan, "tended to 
tlw linal euutilization of subsistence, Hunger and destitution could not 
Crist St otic end of an Indian village ... while plenty prevailed elsewhere 
in the iumc village,.-." 

Having described the economic system of primitive culture in terms 
of the processes of production, exchange, and consumption, wc mm 
now IO mother aspect, namely, property. By property we mean <'} 
something in nature that is capable of serving human needs ami wh»Ui 
\m been Incorporated into an economic system by » social device called 
ownership; (t) a thing taken from nature, the extraction or appropriation 
of which involves ami requires human ljt>or* and which thereafter 
cions in an economic context; or (jj human labor power, exercise or 

crorcsi id in an economic context. 

Ownership is a concept correlative or complementary to property, 
property is that which is owned; ownership is the tenure of property. 
Bv ownership we mean the incorporation of an item of property into in 
economic system in such a way at » permit someone, or ones, to use or 
consume it while at the same rime denying this activity to others. 

According to these definitions, deposits of coal til. and iron were 
not owned and did nor become property until they were introduced mm 
a system of human relationship that was economic. The atmosphere a 
not property, for the same reason. The *'air" in radio communication 
and in aerial transportation may, however, become property’, l-aiid not 
held by any group of people is not property , no one owns it. Hie same 
observation will hold for bodies of water. A Jake or river may he owned 
by a tribe or a nation. Tlic high seas, however, art not so owned an 

art therefore not property. . _ 

Turning now to tlic tlilrd category of property, ivt mean by mnttsn 
Ulm ptn‘~er the capacity to do work, to expend energy to (he end that * 
human-needlerving adjustment to the world he made. "HiWW* 
in this connection me am '‘cultural," dependent upon the use of svniln»- 
Breathing is the appropriation of something from nature. It costs effort, 
and it serves a need. But property is not involved because the effort a 
tint cultural; the process is biologic, not economic. 

Property » a compound made up of two dements; a thing and hmn 

• Lewis H. Morgan, livtati tnJt lioutt-Ufe of ii< Amtnam Alnrriginti, *Wb. p *f‘ 


or rffffrf* A thing is not property unite human effort is expended 
upon it; to bike and m hold is* of course, in huucm society, an expendi¬ 
ture of human effort Human effort is of no economic significance un* 
less k b expended upon a thing. Thus properry is made up of two things: 
P — T X L w i« which /" Ls property, T the thing, and L labor* or effort. 
TiehI L imply each other and arc inseparable in die context "property/' 
We often overlook this. however, because of our tendency to think of 
property as consisting merely of things—of beads* axes* fields, lakes, 

E rfumes, etc. But human labor power, too. may be called property as 
jidmaldy as things; it h an. attribute of an organism that has been 
reared—fed. clothed, and housed—by an expendimre of human libqjr. 
Thus a hfttciti b human Labor expended upon a thing. The barber owns 
hk capacity to do work and sells it in the form of haircuts. A servke is 
thus economically equanbk with a riling . 11 Likewise, the industrial wage- 
worker se!b his Jabot power in the labor market just as a farmer selb 
wheat or hogs in the commodity market. 1 " We see* then, that human 
labor power is a form of property just as things art. A slave t$ both 3 
thing and a form and magnitude of human labor power. He is a thing, 
i» a horse or an engine is a thing. Bui it is because he is a source of 
energy that he is significant as 3 form of property* His master owns 
his ability to w otk, Ills labor power, just as he owns the horse or engine. 

LjCC us turn now to the institutions of property found in primitive 
society 1 . First of all. there is the land upon w hich ihe people live. This 
may be held in coimrion by the tribe, or by subdivisions of the tribe 
such 35 local groups clans, I in cages, of households. Or 3 portion might 
be held in common, with the rest divided among units of the tribe. The 
word TtekT is more appropriate here than "own” because the reboot 
ship between u tribal subdivision* ■mch as a clan* and ± piece of Und 
dm “belongs” to fc b a rig hi to use* to exploit, rise land ra ther t han 
ownership in our sense of the term. If the group ceases to mt the knd, 
it reverts to ibe public domain. There is tu> slicli thing as 1 ‘absentee 
ownership' 1 in primitive society.. In line with this cmttnn is the further 
face that land is inalienable in primitive society; it cannot Ik bought nr 
®°ld* The situation wirh retard to land and narural rc^nurcej in primi¬ 
tive society may be summarized somewhat as follows* Land b ow ned by 
the tribe in the strict sense of this term; i.c.* it is held and exploited to 
the exclusion of other tribes. Within the tribe, however, subdivisions 

VV#e ntay mm be *ctm&mcd m dunk of s hiimiit t» j iking* «t « equivalent in 
1 riling. \ pvuxry boiAj. ut ay* it 1 thing, but k a mwh the expenditure of hu- 
upon day, [me u a haircut is *n expenditure of boom Uhur upon hair. 
* isnmtioDi are «acrfy alike in ibis respect. 

Tht PiiJX 31(^4, power in the nurkct^uflle* I* knx iniitpeiideni 

^u.i. The journal S&zik? nsed ru hive i p^c of jot* advertnementi which ^ 
^ *fhc Muktt fw : 


(nay hove ihc exclusive right to use certain truer* of land or to exploit 
cermet of ic resource*. That tins is merely □ right to »*= or exploit n 
indicated by two fac^: (be absence of buying and selling and the te- 
version to public domain upon lape of use. 

Hue whatever the particular custom* of tenure ur ownership nw be, 
one fact stands out in bold relief in primitive Series based upon kin¬ 
chin- etl'iit v irJisT has free atom to the resources of nature, 1 his is one of 
the most important and fundamental -endralL^tions that can be made 
about primitive society com pared—nr camrasied—with cm3 society. 
It is basic because the political character of a society, Lt. whether it b 
democratic, fcudalisric. or communistic p k determined by the way in 
which man's relations to the resources of nature are socially organised. 

Ur os see whit this genraJkrfoo means. 

It means that in primitive society no clast is obliged to Slifanft to the 
dictates or terms of another das* as a condition of exploiting the re- 
sources uf nature No institution stands between anyone nr any chm 
and the right (0 appropriate things from nature tu satisfy their nccds. 
No class is enabled to live by the labor of another. To live by the labor 
of others, a class, or group of classes, must have complete and exclusive 
property rights to the available resource* 0/ nature, i.e, T tight* which 
do exclude others from exploiting the* resources for disk nwn Uneiit 
In primitive society we find exclusive rights to the use of certain natural 
resources, bur these rights merely exclude one group trntn the resource 
held by another; they do not exclude rhe other group front nature 
itsdf. In civil society, bv contrast, a certain class ur classes own ill the 
natural resources, or enough of them so that the nonowning class ur 
classic can live only by working the resources of the owners, in the course 
of which the owners receive a portion of the product. In primitive so¬ 
ciety the tight to use or exploit may be private and exclusive, but owner¬ 
ship is public, tril1.1L and inclusive; Le_* everyone has access to natural 
resources and the right 10 exploit them* tu civil society, on ihc other 
hand, ownership Ls private and exclusive; i.c. T nature^ resources are not 
open Hi a El mcmlier* or classes of society but arc held by sonic 10 the 
exclusion of Others, Here, rhe only way in which the nonowninf 
can Hvt h by working resource* of the owning class and upon tenm 
kid down by them. Thus w« find that the basic property insrituiions in 
primitive society make for equality. equality of privilege and opportunity, 
and equality of obligation to labor and to support one's $df + Ibis means 
freedom, too, of course, since equality precludes the possibility of the 
rule or exploitation of one class by another. The fundamental property 
institution of civil society, however, is just the opposite, Ic make fur 
inequality, inequality of oppommitj^ and inequality of obligation. One 
class owns bur docs not work; another class works but does not 

economic organization of FRrMnrvir soqeh a 53 

Freedom* cotEcquertrty, nints only for The owning which b* of 
courstn always a minority, Thus we ce that the politico! character of 
society rests op>n 1 basis of institutions of property and h dc re mined 
bv tliem- 

Wc turn now ro objects which have been appropriated from nature 
and made available for the service of human needs by timm of human 
labor. Here wc mav distinguish between things cn be consumed directly 
and things used as a means of further production, such as 3 hoc. fbh 
nef, or harness. Among tilings to be consumed directly wc may dis¬ 
tinguish those whose consumption is instantaneous* so to speak* such 
ai "food, drink, and cosmetic^ and those consumed gradually, such a* 
b&mct, clothing, masks, canoes, or beads. Here again we find great 
diversity* On the one hand, (here are numerous classes of objects ranging 
from bKCChdoun to pyramids, and on the other, a great variety of cus¬ 
toms of ownership. However* a number of genmbiations may be made. 

It may be said that in primitive -odery in general a person owns his 
mvn clothing and ornaments, tools and weapons. By o-^u, as wc specified 
at the outlet of thb discussion, wc mean a system of social relationships 
which adnuts some and excludes others to die use or enjoyment of on 
object. When it is slid, therefore, ilmt a man owns a brcechdotii, it is 
meant that he has a righr to weir it. whereas anmhet docs not* But here, 
as a: other points in a discussion of property and ownership, wc find 
that Concepts taken from nnr economic system ate not always applicable 
to customs of primitive society, Tims, « man might own sometfung in a 
primitive community, bur custom might oblige hint to lend it to some¬ 
one upon request. What meaning then can be attached to the term own* 
In some societies a person feels free not only to b&rt&fr ^gain a word 
from our culture) an arcielc bur to keep k, The theory is thaT if a man 
can afford to lend it he does not need it, and hence fhcrc is no point in 
returning It. There is so much borrowing and giving, through hospitality* 
friendship, kinship* etc-, of persona] properry in primitive society that 
here again ownership borders upon die communal. 

Among the Nama Hottentots, s well is ^aid tu belong to the man who 
dug it, bur he may not refuse other* permission to use it. Fishing sites 
smutig die Trdowa-Tiittitni dic said 10 be "privately owned, but ''ordi¬ 
narily were iiseti freely by any person wWdn die village group:' '* 
Hit winter house among the Polar Eskimo belongs ro a family only 
while they are living in it* When they leave if in sumtnef ic becomes 
frte to anyone wW claims tt in the fall. Here again ut find that our 

"Cm t>u Bob, "The Wealth Concept 1* in Integrative Factor *n TpSowi-Turutm 
tJ3Jjnre, n iu j-f ttthrppdi&fiy i PrttetefrA to A. L. J£fother t Berkeley, 1 

P- J* 


concept of owiwtship is hardly applicable. Tr is not ownership, bur right 
to ttte, that Is significant. 

In rise use md consumption of goods, therefore* as in their production, 
we find in prri iterate cultures a powerful and universal trend toward 
communism, toward mutual sharing. This is* oi course, precisely what 
one would expect from what is known about the social system in genera \ 
and the kinship system in particular. In a social system in \'i bleb reciprocal 
and correlative duties and privileges prevail, in a sociery based upon the 
principle of mutual aid as i wav of imking life more secure, coopers 
tinn and comm uni sm in the production and consumption of goods would 
naturally follow. 

The hci that in certain primitive societies wealth is employed as a 
means of achieving or maintaining social distinction dt>es not alter what 
we have said above, fn the Northwest Qwst great rivalries were carried 
nn in terms of wealth. But they were carried on by kinship groups, the 
members of which participate in terms of kinship rather than economics. 
Wealth is employed to humiliate or to vanquish a rival* But in so doing 
it is consumed, destroyed, or given away, so that the victor may emerge 
from the contest virtually property Jess. Everyone in this region has free 
access to the resources of nature, and wealth is not used tn subjugate nr 
ro espied r, in an economic manner* soy class or indtividua!. There are 
similar rivalries elsewhere, in pans of Melanesia great quantities of yams 
axe grown, only to ler them rot after they have served to enhance iheir 
owners social standing. 

There are situations just the opposite of this in many primitive so¬ 
cieties, A person may win social distinction by giving away all he hit 
In both instances, however, we have a social game in which the stakes 
are social distinction, the counters with which one plays are articles of 
property. Rut nowhere in the acquisition of wealth or in its destruction 
or giving away i fi there anything that would invalidate the general 
propositions we have ser forth so far. 

In some tribes headmen, or chiefs, make levies upon the common peo¬ 
ple for food or other goods, flue In most cases tltis is not a form nf 
private property or of explmtaripn, hut a public* communal transaction 
The headman performs public, tribal functions, in the form of political 
military, or ceremonial services. The contributions made t ^ hi in support 
and sustain such services. Usually* too, she chief L* required by custom 
to give a great ffcait at which the food is consumed for the most pan 
by those udio contributed it. 

We might summarize our discussion of property among primitive 
peoples hy saying that in general natural resources are collectively ow ned 
though often privately exploited by some group, almost never by an 


individual ITsere is w muds sharing of food md other basic forms of 
wraith as to amount almost to communism. 1 * Personal property b indi* 
vidcully owned, but again the claims of rtkrives, the taws of hospitality 
and friendship, make ownership here, coo* border on the command. 
Communism and mutual eid in o%\Tiership T production* and consumption 
arc the characteristics of economic systems of primitive society. 

Since rbc conecpdun of primitive society organized upon the basis of 
kinship that we have presented lias been vigorously opposed by certain 
anthropologists. it might be well to consider some of the issues involved 

Herskovits lias asserted flatly that ,l it hits become a truism that there 
h no generic difference between primitive societies and literate ones. 1 * ss 
Lewie, too, has insisted rhar civilized societies differ from primitive sa¬ 
ddles in degree only; there is* he argues, no fundamental difference 
between them 11 

One of the chief targets of the opponents of cultural evolutionism 
wis “primitive communisin/' We have already noted that the economic 
system of societies based upon kinship might fairly he called com- 
rmamric and that: Morgan used this term in describing their sodal life- 
Rur the anti evolutionists almost never nuke clear and explicit what they 
are oppr^ing when they attack "primitive conuruini ™/ 1 nor do they 
quote or cite any evolutionist who espoused such a theory* 

Apparently the opponents of the theory of primitive communism took 
tills theory to mean "no private property at all; everything held in 
common in primitive sodc(y." None of the leader? of evolutionist theory 
ever held such a view, however, Morgan recognized dan* family* and 
individual rights to land, ,J A person might transfer or donate hb rights 
m other persons / 1 he writes* and one could bequeath these rights "to his 
gentile kin. Personal property*, generally* was mb jeer to individual 
ownership.” IT Tvlor observed that primitive peoples draw "the Mine 
distinction w ltkh our lawyers make between real and persona] property 

" Cf. .Morgan, tfp, fcif description of ^earuiTrankm In living" among tfw North 
Amrrkan Indiana chap, j, The La*- of Hospitality. chap. =?» C*Tntrmsni^rri In Living 
dmp. 4, SjBgei incj Cuvouti whh Rcrptcr tq land tnd Fwi Sec alw Ruch BunscL 
•teentmuc wid Social \Jh nf the Zurii Indiana," in Intr&tv&ion toZmr Cttt* 
ntirTtldinn, 47ih Annual Repair* Bureau of American Ethnology. WtihkgKKi, 19 ;e* 
PP' *74^ Her chartcremjThm h *try much like that i>f Morgan dcsptte rhe fact 
^haf tlit wj* 4(3 adherent of the BolS ichtful ivliich oppttftd fiiO*! of -Morgan I 

duties end concluDims. 

^Mthrffia J. Henhmra* Tht Etonvrmt Lrfr &f ftrmbte* Ft' pl*i r Alfred A, Knopf, 
kic H New York, ro*j.s, p. 4- set alio pp, 447-44^1 
“'Rtibtit H- Lowie* 77 ;* OnffW of ffrr Staff, jqzj* 

"Morgan, & j> h p_ mj Antrim Spririj, itfy;. pp- 54J-J4- 


that they recognized "private pmpcrty" in game “when struck'*; that 
they heid land by clan an A family; und that they recognized “persona) 

or individual properly " u _ 

Thus we find dear and explicit recognition «f individual personal- 
property rights in the wort.; of the turn ciiicf exponents of cultural 
evnluiiduisni- Hut so menacing did die theory of primitive comnnimsm 
become, 1 * apparently, that members of three atidwopologka] “schools'' 
liove felt called upon to scotch it. Lmvie, of the Boas school, has attacks I 
it repestedly- 1 * MaDnrwsIti. a leader of the Functionalist school, branded 
it “perhaps the most misleading fallacy there is in social anthropology. 1,1 
Sylvester A. Sicber, SJ„ and Franz H. Mueller. M.CS, clerical followers 
of the Cnihniic (Culture Historical) school of anthropology led by 
Farher Wilhelm Schmidt and Father Wilhelm Koppenu make it perfectly 
clear that in opposing the theory of primitive commitrdsm they are trying 
to undermine the socialist doctrines (if Marx, Ftigvls, Hebei, and others. 55 
Lowie lu.- been commended by Catholic scholar; for his criticism of 
the theory of primitive communism* and through tbis, hii opppatiwn to 
*ocialm dneirtattv* 8 And Linton, an iiKlcpcodtnr p branded the theory of 
primitive ^muuunLsrri u ^ang^tablbhed myth/ 51 Jt would appear tint 
an effort was being made to +< nuke the world safe for private property. 

Opponents of primitive eommntiiiin were not content to demonstrate 
rhe existence of genuine private property io primitive society. Ihty 
Vrenc further and invented 2 spurious concept: fricorporeat pr&pvrty 
which is privately owned By property is meant such riling 
w an insignia of rank, the exclusive right to ring a certain song, or owner- 

V E. B- TyW* Amhr&pftlvgy, i&p, pp. 

“ Bccjujc* na doubt* Karl ftka "adopted" Mtilgttl’v AminV Setifty t nan *r 

OIM 1 WH’JiUbT cleric. 

Jt rnighi be reerileif, il*h that the grtai proletarian Vptvanp the Pari* Cwmrumr. 
coot pbcc m the ianw year that *aw the pnbiicHticrei of Mergin'* SyftrmJ &f Cm- 
j&tRLKrtity j7iJ JfTrmy tnid TyW* frwpifjwr Otimnt: i8?r- Seven year* Itfrr 
Leo XIII waned hiv encyclical Qmd Apeueiki .Wmdr, addrtiiicd to the mkn of 
Europe, emi the subject of lk £he plague oF wcinSam/ 1 
W R. H. IpO™, Prmdiivt Sottety r pp. + 05-3 rtf, = 31 ; ''Anthropology ansi L*"'- 

in Tfre Sddtff Srrrmvt md thrif Htrrtilathm, Willi jiti F\ Ogtwm m& Alexander 

fed-..)* alld Sori-lf Of^itntjA(tn t u> 4 ^ pp- ' «** r 44- c ^' 

fc B, MalinouAi, iiiEfiMfrictuin to If, Ian Hogfrirc* L*vt smi Order i« P wyt 1 * m ' 
tlftTcoun, IS rare and Company* Nrw Voric, 1934. p- ftli- He "primitive com- 
Hi ttfiw H." uunvrcil idly in ha iddr™ j-t thp Hirrnrd Tmtoasmry Cflrftrariom 
ihropologv ai the flam of Social Srivnerr ie|^ 

■Syhtsi-T SicLwir, S j. ansi rrjna H. .MueLEcr, M.CS. The Serial Lift 

Prmririw M*n t PP« 4 ^ 

^Sce. for rumple, Joseph M^cin, S J^ Phi>_ Ttr OmstLot Secut 

P * 
^ Ralph [intern, in an ■dvcniiemefir of M. J, Hmlfiwits-s The ficenvmic w 

Pmmtivt Peepiet, Alfred A. Knopf, Int., York* 1^40. 

economic nmSA station or primitive society 357 

ship of a dream or a magical spdl- Lttwie h as developed the thesis nf 
incorporeal property to a greater extent titan anyone die, having con¬ 
tributed a special article on h as well as distn&ring if in his books/* But 
Bm> and others have subscribed to rhis thesis also. 11 Lowie is not content 
with listing *uch things as rise right of a certain individual to "Jimp and 
liowj in a ceremony" as private prfipertys s: he include also iriba] pulirb 
cd functions assigned to certain ekm among various tribes in the category 
of “incorporeal property , rti * 

In some instances, items of incorporeal property are hereditary, or 
ate an integral part id rhe social structure of the rrihe, such as the 
function the Th under bird chn among the Winnebago to make peace. 
In other instance* incorporeal property may be ' sold/* These transac¬ 
tions are often discussed under rhe heading of "economics/' just as the 
objects, rights, etc., arc called “property." A little reflection and analysis 
however. will show that both of these usages arc unwarranted* or at best 
confusing and misreading. To call a magical formula obtained in a dream 
property is to confuse it with $uch things as an ax made from a piece 
of flint dug front a quarry, a canoe carved from a tree trunk* or a piece 
of buckskin. The two arc radically d liferent kinds of things: in the one 
case value dcriv r cs from inherent properties of things in the external 
world plus :mi expenditure of human l.ihmr; in the other, value is of 
sociopsycfmlogical origin. To apply rhe term property to such diverse 
things os fcp thc"riglic 10 limp and howl in a ceremony 1 ' and to a stone ix 
is to breed confusion* Otic might as well call the right to wear die 
Purple Heart* or the righr to write ITT), after one's name, pteptny* 
There arc other rights than those of propertys there arc value* that 
arc nor economic* 

Louie cites a cose, known 10 him personally, of a Crow Indian who 
w bmight n the right to use a special ceremonial pain! from his own 
mother* 30 What can he the meaning of “bought^ in such a transaction 

H. Lowk. Tucarpamal Propeoy lit Prforimve Society** Yotf 
^ S*t pp- i$ 4 —j. ioif; Prhmth* $edtty k 3947. PP- SttM Qr^inkotitm, 

pp, s j 1-1 m introduction to C tthurd Anthropology, n >40, pp, iBv-itiz. 

*T Bra, B Anrhropology\ M m Entyciopjedij of the Sariil S^iauCei. nd* t, vjy\ 
p. S|l Alcxsn^r Goidenwdur, Early CrvMizjih* r. fptt, p. 1 J7i ! Jer.kmiia. op. t rh^ 
| ! ? ft tills Benedict, Filimti of Culture, 19 j q y p- jfljl ^ (1I h 13 UllFcl, ’'The 

“■iftenk Organs-.mufl of Prinsime Proplrv' in Grwrtjl Amhrppfilagy ¥- Boa* 

, p, y_ Adaimen Hodad. Man m d'* Frixtitiv* World, i^, pp iw-Ufi 
rnj RaymotiJ Firth. a British social judircp<jIni»Lit B illudc* to it in "Property, Primi- 
'i t.' in Encycfop&rdu Briramifcj, 14th ftL* 1919* 

"ft* H. Lrwwie, Primhfai Sovkry, Liverighr PttCibshing Gnqmmiiai* ftEaeli and 
Ubmy, Neur York, 1947. p. J)> 

“ft- Ih Lewie. £bcuf Or^jra^rmw. Rinehart & Canipm}', fne., New York* 194$* 


Pmw?iivr Storfitj, 1947. p. 139* 


in * society where people arc not only obliged by mores and custoctt to 
help and feed their own close rebuil d hut to be lavish in their generosity 
with visitors and guests? "A ntutt ii «pc«cd to give meat it, any one who 
comes up as he is butchering a slain animal " says Murdock in a slun- 
mirv description of Grow culture *° "Visiters are hospitably received 
„ + . rtnd ^cncd immediately with. *. food, no matter what time of day. 
Guests may take home with them any food that remains, and sometimes 
even s$k for container* in which to carry it away *’ 1 And yet a man must 
N buv M ft ceremonial pfint from lib own mntheri 

b it not rather plain that we arc dealing here with nvo quire different 
kinds of moxmiw? The production and distribution of food h an eco¬ 
nomic process; the ' purchase” of "ceremonial paint*' U a ritual, a symbolic 
process. In the one ease, we arc dealing with intrinsic values: the nurniivc 
properties of the food In the other, WC are faced with make-believe 
values. According lo the beliefs which attend the use am! transfer of 
ceremonial paint among the Crow, the paint nUBt Iw paid fnr if the 
whole transierkm is to be effective and beneficial The “payment" » * 
rftttftl way of validating the process of transfer. To till die right tn uw 
the paint" “property 11 and its ritual transfer “purchase and sale" i* el- 
fectively to confuse two fundamentally different caregorics of things 
and to make any sort nf intelligent understanding of either impossible.^ 
The thesis that primitive Kocierc is rundamenfftIJy like civil society > 
differing in decree only, ss expressed and supported by discussions of 
rhe use nf money bv primitive peoples , 13 Thta is unfortunate* since in 
most instances primitive money functions in contexts radically different 
from the financial and commercial contexts of our own culture. In i few 
preliiensrc societies notably those subjected to the influence of higher 
cultures having genuine money, mediums of exchange arc indeed used 
in commercial transactions But fnr the most part, primitive money is 
not employed in economic contexts at all. but in a game of social inter¬ 
course in which sodftl values—status* presrigc-Hirc cransferred or vali- 
*G. P. Murdock. Okt Primitht C&tirmip&rariet, The Macmillan Company, New 

York* 1914* p . -. 

"Goldatwther reeejmiw* tftii faer* although he ipaks of "imnuitcmL prtrpcny 
dong M idi when- In dderibrn^ die Indians of tlw Northwest Oist, he *ay*r "They 
ullc property, live jiroperr>x minipukfe property* a* Jttsnly s* any gr^np «h nw^n 3 
bmancH men. UV'jr property Tttanr in them ii, rmirtbctea. jamrfWn* 
diflmm trQMf UJifei# it mtm ;a stf [ Italia supplied]/ Alexander GoIcktlWOSOV 
tftropvfo Jty. Appteion-Ccittury^4^fofK, [»e, New Ytirk, ip*7* p- *J3- 
- iknfUjcr fpc?k* of ^aimney nf t eimrjslcx monetary *y*renC ■«“*< dae Indian* 
of i hr Northwest C^isr; Fmmm 0 / C*dr»r F lighten Mifflin Company Serfm 
p. C&+. Burned Joes likcwi&e in 'The Ecmomic Qrpnixxrmn nf Prirmtne 
peoples,” p. iTs>d>tl calls the dmtilissTn of Califomh Tribes, wampum bttdi ^ 
eaifem North America. -nd eret the 'ling* Itrocscaw wheth of Yip/' "wncy. 
Op e*L p ss* 



dated by such meins. The distinction between these two contexts, the 
economic and commercial. on the one hand, and the social, un the other, 
is drawn sharply by Du Bois in her analysis of the culture of che Ttrfowa- 
Twtumi of California.^ She distinguishes two "economics 14 ! a "sub¬ 
sistence economy"' and a "prestige economy. 1 ' By the former, she means 
"the exploitation of,.. natural resources 1 '- by the tatter l 1s meant a series 
of social prerogatives and status values. They included a targe range of 
phenomena from wives to formulae for supernatural compulsion . 
mournend privileges and innumerable personal dignities.,./ 1 These two 
contexts arc quite distinct. says Du Buis, and money functions in the con* 
text of social ritual rather than in matters of subsistence, Natural re* 
sflunres were plentiful and easily exploited. Food "'was shared by the 
provident with the improvident within the vilhige group A successful 
I unite r was expected to he liberal with Ids kinsmen... _ The favorable en¬ 
vironment made... barter a minor activity"; and dentalia, or other forms 
of money, played virtually no pair in it. But. in their prestige economy, 
they were definitely "money-minded 11 : "they haggled and drove a lurd 
bargain., *, Money was serviceable in the purchase of sodti protection 
and prestige . *. in maintaining familial status, bur if entered hardly at til 
Euro the subsistence equation/' In short, as Du Buis aptly summarizes: 
Subsistence economy b divorced from prestige, and money operates in 
the tatter realm/ 1 

We rims itc that money in this culture b not money it all in our 
sense of the term; it is not a medium of exchange in commercial \x^ 
economic, mimcrions, but an i nstrumen t employed in a sudd ritual/ 1 
a m of counters in a game of symbolic and psychologic values. It b 
xiaforxiiiiflrcr that die terms money, economy s and ptfrchise arc used to 
describe such definitely noneconomic, noncommercial, and non financial 
culture processes. 13 

The thesis that the economic system* of primitive society arc funda¬ 
mentally like our own, differing only in degree, has been expressed or 
implied at other points also- Boas tells us that "the economic system 
nf the Indians of British Columbia is largely based on credit, just as 
much as that of dvjltacd communities" 11 Ocrskovits discusses wages, 
interest, and capieti among primitive j*cop!cs/ : Firth speakv of “a kind 

Eoii, ep- rif- r pp. jo-5 3. 

obscrvH that • kind of money bird on Rrosd Id-md vm "used only in 
cemm ecfenidbtal cid'The Ecamvnk OiganbjLirin nf Primitive FcopkC 
p- m 

firdk p^. ffj, t wSio dbriiiiniishc* niedv between gttxticne and pseudo money, 
h "The XnjTh-Hprcrn Tnbcj of British €olamhu, M fif/wrr of the Stwty- 
to&inb Meeting of the Smith Atwaothw for rtf AJt^ncemau of Scimct, Loudon* 
p. SSi, 

" Henkorit^ op. eft. 

16a vxmmm odrnos 

of capitalist enterprise 11 among the .VLiori.^ Rudin refers to the Indiana 
of the Northwest Coast a$ '"rh t Capitalists of the Nnnh." ,J But per- 
hp we have said enough iti our previous discussions of incorporeal 
property and money to show how inappropriate these concepts and reruns 
arc to a description of tribal societies based upon kinship. 

There arc two basic types of economic system. In the one, property 
relations arc subordinated to human relations; in the other* the opposite 
is the case, Within primitive societies, the economic system subordinates 
property relations to human relations, to human welfare. Between tribes, 
however, commercial relearns obtained. 

The economic system of primitive peoples is identified largely with 
the kiiUihip system and is therefore characteriicd by cooperation, mutual 
aid, and shoring. The widespread custom of exchanging goods promotes 
solidarityi But it is also a means of sharing food and other goods in time* 
of scarcityi it is a system of soda! security. 

Private and persona) properry institutions of primitive society ^ 
they itre of our own, bill ii.hc is emphasized rather than ownership in 
the' icjssc in which the tetter term is used in our culture. Bur the private 
ownership of natural resource or of means of production is never cx- 
lemiyc enough in primitive society to exclude m\y class or any individual 
from the resources of narure: it k a fundamental fact of primitive lo¬ 
ci ety that everyone has free access m the resources of nature. Tliis is the 
basis of the freedom and equality of tribal societies. 

"Raymond Firrh, rrbmtivt fa one*mcr af th: +Yi h t' Maori t E. P. Dans* & 

lnc_ New York, let*, p Bj, 

•This i* fJic drle of chap- 14 Iji Pjtil Ratlin, The of th* Awrrkz* fnJixAt 

* 9 * 7 * 


tn our first chapter we distinguished technological, swiojogicaj, and 
.d«aiogm] components of cultural systtim. We have traced the course 
of cultural development from the Haodpoinf of technology and of social 
onpruzauwi, h is time now to turn our mienrion to ideologic*. 

i he uwrIJ of man consists of himself and of an external world in 
u iuds he Inxi. Experience consists of the interaction of a living ur- 
pniMii with die emmaJ uorld f which include of course, other or* 
g^iflJis}, on the one hand, and on the other uf interaction of the com¬ 
ponent p*rts of the organism itself with one another. We thus dk- 
anguish and intraorgnmsmal aspects of espericnee. In rile huirati 
species, experience is translated into concepts, and these concepts are 
expressed in symbol-word form I have sensory experience of an object 
In Hie external world and translate and express this experience in con¬ 
cept, Mich as red or hot . Or I translate and express intraorgankmal ex- 
per.trtce in concepts such as tired or hungry* Experience is expressed in 
f ie nrrn of propositions, declarative statements that say some tiling about 
m S : £ ra5S is green, fire is hot, [ am hungry* These proportions 
Jfc rae Components, rile units, of ideologies- Fur want of a better term 
fi e call them hdfefs. 

In die human Species great areas of experience, Itoch infra- and extra- 
,TTT l 3rc pwstoted. into beliefs. We may distinguish two binds of 
' tiic h kind and the ought or tbottld kind Fine is hot; ice mclrs, 
u ts s uuld kind to cliiLdreti; kick should not be seethed in their 
f lets milk. We need a name for the sum and total of beliefs that 
flny people h^s, anti we shall use the term philosophy for thb purpose, 
acre are two, and only two. major types of philosophy: (i) naturalis- 
» . ^ VIJ p^™rurahsti c. AU philosophies art the product of the 

_ mL tU!!n two factors, the self and die external world* Tilings and 
tilts may be described or explained in remts of thfrusefaes, or they 
Tii CT P^^ nc ^ *n tcuns of the self, the ego that is doing the explaining. 

IUs a s h' J wer of rain can be accounted fur in terms of meteorological 


l6l PRIMITIVE CatTtm* 

factor such * temperature, humidity. barometric pr^urc .ir current 
etc . ic, it rains when these factors interact writ OTjfi another, j« m 
conjunction with one another, in «r«in wty* Tbvj a 
interpretation of a shower. Bor one can account for runtall by 
ine *a*spiritual being who has control over precipitation and is, for one 

2&*S another, ipn*d «• tllC «”*■ V" * 

tic type of interpretation. It consists of piojecjug the ego, the pc I 
Wical processes of self, into the external world without being iv^rc of 
tfds projection, the rain god<, witches, «sd devtb of ideologies ire 
merely the psyches of man projected into the cmrnal World wir toot 
his knowledge or understanding of this fact, so that he hdi^c, thc) m C 
an existence in the externa! world independently or lumsclf. 1^ 
naturalistic philosophies are the result of a failure to MmeoisHjg* 
the self and the not-«If; naturalistic philosophies make this di*tiu«w . 

Philosophy had its beginning in the origin of man and culrure. t has 
evolved and’ become diversified as an integral part of cultural sysfcn^ 
The philosophies of primitive peoples am predominantly supernatural^ 
tic in character; they consist, for the m» pa^, of myths. ™ 11 
peoples possess a great deal of itamralLsric, matter-of-fict knowledge, 
but such knowledge tends to exist and to function to a great COT 
subtincuisik levels. Considerable genuine knowledge is required to make 
a chipped-flint ax of a bow- Bur there is little need to express rha kne 
edge vcrimlhr, on the one hand, and it is often difficult w express or to 
comniunicate. such know ledge verbally. How. for example, could one 
person tell another how to swim? Knowledge in such matt cm & »=* 
communicated by example rather than by precept. To be ™rc\ kimwicdg 
about the properties of plants. minerals, and so on, may be communicate 
as lore from one generation to anodic r. Rut even here, such know c g 
is not usually formalized and made explicit as mythological knowledge 
iv Thus, while we recognize a significant naturalistic component in tie 
philosophies of primitive peoples, their over-all complexion tipped » l * 
predominantly supcmaturilisric—mythologic—in character. 

'flit world of primitive man is divided chronologically intotwti pro. 
<t> the remote past and (*) the present and recenr past. The 
era is wholly mythological in cliatacter according to primim-c peflplfe 
conception; in it took place the great events of the origin, or format ■ 
of the earth and the beginnings of man and Ids culture. It was ani e _ 
wonder working by supernatural lictngj. The present is a imu mo 
prosaic cn. If contains gods and supernatural forces, to be sure, but 
function according to fairly well established rales. It is the * 

live in today where water runs downhill, fire consumes straw, the reiv 1 - 
follow each other in turn, and all men eventually die. The 
cedes into die past until the limits of tribal memories are readied. 


one enter* the world rtf tire mythical past* the Alclieringa era, as ihe 
Aroma of Australia call it. Legend reaches- intn the past as" far .15 it can. 
bur rh-is is not fat; and beyond this lies rhe land of myth. 

In our culture today, philosophy—especially with 3 capital P—tends 
to lie regarded as "something that one studies at college," as something 
rhar stands apart from everyday life- Rue in the lives of primitive peo¬ 
ples, philosophy is an integral parr of their way of life, iruiinaictv re¬ 
lated to everything they do- And, of course, the layman in our society 
today has a “philosophy of life," Philosophy lias a number of func¬ 
tions in primitive culture; ix., it docs various things in sociocultumj 

One of the functions of philosophies, primitive as well as modem, is 
10 provide a menrn of adjustment to and control over the exterm] \M*rId; 
i-t^ St provides us with knowledge and tclk m how to use it. This 
knowledge is of two kinds, as we have already noted, naturalistic arid 
suptniaturalisric In primitive cultures the genuine know Sedge functions 
itrfely on subllngtlistte levels- and to that extent is nut a pjit of the 
tradition that we call philosophy. The use of philosophy among primi¬ 
tive peoples as a means of adjustment and control with reference to the 
external world is therefore primarily my the logic in character. 

Tile myriis of primitive man tell him everything hr needs to know; 
they provide him with answers to all the fundamental questions of Life 
and being. They describe the cosmos and tell how it was formed. The 
earth and if] irs inhabitants ire likewise acenunred for. The origin of 
mm and the establishment of langtuiges ;md customs arc set forth in 
s^rnc detail; the acquisition of fire is frequently chronicled and some- 
finics ihe origin of dearh is noted. The rebrionship betw een man and 
the spirit w orld is defined. and roles for man's conduct prescribed. From 
oijthdogy man learns how to control the weather* cope with disease, 
overcome his enemies, and hmv to dispatch the dead on their journey to 
the afterlife. In sonic cultures one even learns from mytlis how j to change 
the course of the sun across die heavens. 

Myths of adjustment and control find expression through ritual and 
die use of paraphernalta. Magic becomes a p?cudotcchno!ogy in medicine, 
hunting, warfare, weather control, and horticulture. Thanks to myth 
and ritual, primitive man Itecomcs both omniscient and ntnnipn sent—but 
only in make-bdievr. 

PhiIi>sophy b an important means of serving man's psychic needs. We 
have already touched upon this in Chapter r, “Man and Culture." Man 
needs courage in order to face the hazards amt uncertainties of life. He 
to feet that he is of some significance, that somehow he counts 
^ Cl wmic sdwne of things. He needs some assurance of success, 
he requires consolation when he fails or when disaster overtakes 


him. Philwophicf. iu the form of mythologies °r theologies, perform 
rhese servicesfur mail; they envelop him one! hold Hun secuicly In x firm 

^fhTmvths of primitive man W-e to entertain him as literatufc doe 
os. The stirring account of incidents m the mythical put.wheni go* 
performed their feats of wonder and interceded d.n^y in the tffito 
S men. serve to entertain md beguile primitive man as well as to «pLm 
the world to him. Indeed, one of the principal functions of mythology 
« to entertain men in meager cultures on long winter evenings. 

Philosophy is not merely, or even primarily, a conceptual F^«s. ” 
manv people in mir culture are inclined to believe. It is a swat ptocw 
as well, and a vetV important one it is. The verbal tradition_ that we cal 
philosophy equips'each growing child within IB embrace wnth ^uniform 
L of beliefs; of ideas and ideals. It thus makes for uniform,ty ofl£ 
hivior. which is essential to coherent soda! organisation and the effee 
rive conduct of group life. A philosophy not only provides people with 
information needed fnr action; it slim,dates them to action, inspires them, 
and defines the goals for which they shall strive. A philosophy is there¬ 
fore an important means of social integration. It is, w> W tpeA « 
peculiarly human connective ris,ue of society; n ls something tn 
indiropuids and all other lower species lack. And it » a n™ ot ^T 
bring people to action and of guiding their efforts toward philosophically 

defined objectives. t . - 

The sociological function of philosophy is clearly revealed in me 
process of educating the young. Growing children must he etpupp^ 
with knowledge, or' beliefs. They must be told what sort <>f a'world 
this is and also how they should behave toward it. Some nt this knriwi 
edge and belief is transmitted casually in the form of lore about items 
of habitat; plants, animals, earth materials, and so no, Rur in niarrers 
of gne-itest importance it is mythology that provides the information 
and the ideals. The boy or girl becomes acquainted with the god* m 
learns their idiosyncrasies and how to communicate with them, 

Of conduct arc held up to them in myths: a certain course of am* | 
ways hrings retribution or disaster, another course spclb success a 
reward. In Kcrc«m mythology the id«l girl is always pi Allred miimg 
at her grinding him, early in ihe morning; ideals appropriate to - 
ynutig man am presented in sharp relief, also. Philosophy works 
mOTxtitj, in primitive society, as well as for social organisation 1 

Mythology is but the verbal component of a great complex that 

*TMi onifomitT b icbiertd, mi rhr one hind, by the mpiiremenr* *>f 
conwsnicy which every philosophy must },*ve mi on the nrhat. “* 
imperative* which ilotiind nmiamuty n t bwb for wnc««d icdon. 


dudes ceremony, ritual* and paraphernalia 35 well Rituals arc ways of 
putting mythological fcntwledge into practice in curing disease. bringing 
rain, or racing com, Great ceremonies are often dramatizations of epi- 
sftdcs in the mythology, and as such they tiqjiy have a profound effect 
upon the young- they communicate information to them and impress 
upon them the tribe's ideab and values, And for the mature, these 
ceremonies reanimate: and reaffirm the tribal values. Ceremonies are 
means of promoting solidarity- all I heir participants are united and bound 
together by spiritual bunds os well as bv social actiom The tacred 
itents of paraphernalia employed in ceremonies and rituals are visible, 
tangible expressions of belief and of spirituil value, and m such thtrv are 
convincing, They vriimiLitc emotion, reaffirm values* and mike indi- 
ridiuls in a common sentiment. Ceremonies and their paraphernalia 
prove, in terms of primitive logic, the propositions expressed in the 
myths die dnmiarfzalions of myths in dance* pantomime, costume, 
sung, and paraphernalia can leave no doubt in anyone’s mind of their 
genuineness and validity. No child who Im ever witnessed the great 
Shalako oeremutijesi of the ZufU Indians nr the totcmic ceremonies of 
the Amnra under aboriginal conditions can have failed to be impressed 
for life* 

And, added to all this, the ceremonies are sources of entertainment 
inj nt acvrhctie satisfaction. The beauty of the song^ the dramatic effect 
of the costumes ind paraphernalia feed and nourish the aesthetic hunger 
ol the people. 

Philosophy, in primitive culture, is nor merely belief- k is a way of 

NoTimyihQhgi* krt&zikd£t and belief. Although the naturalistic gen¬ 
uine knowledge—as distinguished from the pseudo knowledge of my¬ 
thology —iyi primitive peoples ts often not verbalized, or only slightly 
■ ,!l . and consequently does not constitute 1 conspicuous pair of die in- 
re! fecniaf tradition, no account of the pltiloStiphics of primitive culture 
shoiifd ignore tins important element* 

W'c might define knowledge as an acquired ability- tti behave ap 
prnpn.itely in a given iiiujijnn. Tins ikftainVui would embrace the he- 
havior of subhuman specie 1 ,, bur it would rule out instinctive behavior. 

In this sense, apes have knowledge. And, as a matter uf fact, they povtesa 
a Hiker considerable bodv of knowledge. They a certain and appreciate 
the properties of all som of materials which they uw in terms of these 
properties 1 &riek\, stones, ropes, pigment for pointing, tubes to blow 
through like trumpets, objects for ornaments, and so on + They leant 
lQ ^ sticks aj levers or to pole-vault with, stones as hammers* 
blankets as hammocks* and a host of other things. 

i 6 i W&Mtnv* CULWHR 

Evcrv living species, plant or animal, must be able to "twluve ap* 
JS£ W* if U * « survive, This 40 ** «** 

instinctive <>t learned, he, knowledge, Man. like all other specie^ . mm. 
be able to behave appropriately' to situations, and l iking in®®** *" 
nui>T provide himself with knowledge, Ben* endowed with ^ a , ’ > 
to symbol and equipped with language, he 
almost indefinitelv: his sensory experience a mnsh'td into> 
anf | i$ *,*«] up in lib verbal tradition. And it can be traasinttted 
from one individual, one generation, or one people, to another, 

Mythologic knowledge, by the very nature of mythology, cannot 
be tested by experience. The process that create kachmas (i.e W 
anrhmpnmoxph* spirits who bring rain to the Pueblo £*»> <**- 
dv-ely prevent the testing of this concept by experience.- Bur the Ltio I- 
e< W that is inherent in the effective exploitation of rhe resources of 
cmh to provide food, materials for clothing, tools, weapons, and orna¬ 
ments ir testable, as of course it must be; ns very acquisition and use 

P During the course of cultural evolution up to the Agricultural Revo¬ 
lution a "very considerable amount of genuine, matter-of-fact knowledge 
was acquired and accumulated. Some of this knowledge was vcr\ vui e 
spread, much of it was locally restricted, depending upon the uniformity 
or diversitv of local circumstances of habitat. 1 he totality of these oral 
knowledges is impressive and forms tile foundation for the mtumbsoc 
philosophies of more advanced cultures and for the science of our ctil- 
turt It will be interesting and instructive to pais in review these tradi¬ 
tions of genuine knowledge in primitive cultures. ^ 

Primitive peoples knew rlicir habitats intimately. They knew wliat 
useful resources it contained, where red ocher, day. or llinf might t 
found, 'nicy knew the distribution of flora and fauna anil which spea« 
were useful or edible and which were unless or injurious. I hey knew 
ilw habits of local birds, animals, fish, and insects and how to take them 
for food and other uses. Eskimos were aide to make topographic sketches 
of the territory within which they lived and traveled so accurately t 
they could be used to good advantage by arctic explorers. 

Prelit crate peoples possessed knowledge concerning the heavenly i ^ 
and temporal and seasonal sequences. Constellations of stars ’U ere 1 
ringubhed and named. Polaris was spotted, and the movements of 
followed. Even such a primitive tribe as the Ona of licrra del I'ue^< 

•Tla* IS Dirt to UV [hit the niiml in primitive eulnirr H imprrvjmh ru , 

It a not. B«[ Ih< "ciridcact” may well support the conceptions ft 
frtqticntiv don rain ifwr i nin «nniwny. y^isnxt „i mrdintie mCn “<* . ' 

m nwiiy ifiMKMJia- Thin we liavc rriifcnc*; and it imy to* couvananji- pu. 
hoe provide m adequit* t££t. 

FFm-osoFirv- sxrrn cghe 


distinguished Sirius. Procyon, and Iktclgcusc, Morning and evening stars 
received pirtkular attention. They knew dial there are twelve to thirteen 
lunations in 2 complete solar cycle^ these ‘'moons’' were frequently named 
according to rite time of the year—"new.-leaves meiun/ 1 or '‘finsi-uniw* 
flurries moon/ 1 Seasons were distinguished according to latitude. Among 
some tribes systematic oteervitlom were made upon the sort. The Pueblo 
Indian* of the Southwest, for example, had j special priest to observe the 
risings of the sun in order rn determine die limes of the snbtkes. 

Mutually all kinds of tools were invented and developed by primitive 
peoples, such as knives axes, senperc, hammer^ awls, needles, and so 
on. Machines, i.e., mechanical devices composed of moving and inter- 
related part*. such as the bow drill and pump drill* were occasional !v 
developed. Tubular drill bit* and abrasives were used. In the held of 
weapons, spears, harpoons, dubs, shields, and armor were developed* 
The aditl. or spear thrower, the blowgun, ami the bow and arrow are 
particularly ingenious devices. Hammocks w ere invented and used by the 
Indians of the Amazon, All techniques for producing fire know n to man 
prior to the invention of matches in the early nineteenth century were 
developed by primitive peoples: percussion (dint and iron pyrites), fric¬ 
tion (the fire drill and fire saw), and compression (the fire piston). The 
lire piston is an especially ingenious device. Tinder is placed in the 
bottom of a cylinder and is ignited by being raised to die kindling tem¬ 
perature by air compression. The principle involved here was kter 
incorporated in the Diesel engine, where fuel is ignited in the cylinder 
by compression rather than by an electric spark. Rubber was manufac¬ 
tured by the American Indians and used as balls in games in Mesa- 
America and to make enema syringes in Amazonia* 

A greai malty techniques involving considerable knowledge were 
developed by primitive peoples in one culture or another. The m-istw 
future nf good pottery, the proper admixture of tempering material 
with day and the subsequent firing, requires a grear deal of know ledge 
and &lsjll, Similarly the art of making buckskin requires an erteativt 
knowledge of materials and techniques. The textile arts—carding, spin- 
nirrg, twining, rwilling* weaving—require knowledge, skilly and ap¬ 
paratus, Bark clorfu made from the inner bark of mulberry or fig trees, 
beaten to almost paper thinness with corrugated mailers, was made in 
Polynesia and west Africa- Felt wax in a dc by various peoples of central 
Arii The normibmcrsiblc kayak and the sealskin float used to retard 
the escape of lufponncd *ea mammols among the Eskimos demonstrate 
an understanding of physical principles. The snow house in the suntc 
^trures k also a remarkable exhibition of realistic knowledge and un¬ 
derstanding, nor to mention the utthiirinn of the thertiu)S-bottle prin¬ 
ciple in some of ihesc houses. Some Eskimo groups sewed caribou skins 


toother and suspended them from the walls and ceilings of their snow- 
hJuU separating the two b y a fcw beta- A layer of non-heot-con. 
ducting air is thus interposed between the skins arid the now wall 
which is of course an example of the principle uuh«d * thermos bottles 
if, out culture. The Eskimos aim made and used goggles, with turroM, 
slits Instead of lenses, to protect them from the glare of sunlight reflected 
frtun the sum Outrigger canoes are ingenious contrivances which 

Uliliye fl number of mechanical principles. 

In the field of chemistry, primitive peoples by and brge amassed a 
considerable store of knowledge of materials and processes, fhey knew 
how to make paints and pigments, some of which had a tjualiry and 
durability that hive never been surpassed. 1 hey discovered the use of 
mordants, subWane* for firing colors. One of the most irmarUW 
chemical processes on primitive cultural levels is to be found m non <* 
eastern Smith America, There, some tribes have learned to remove a 
deadly poison, hydrocyanic acid, from a species of manioc, which then 
hecomcTa staple article of diet. They have done this by a ctmipbcatcd 
process of grinding, drying, and leaching, which incident ally use* a 
most ingenious mechanical basketry device known as s cassava ^queerer. 
How thes* primitive Indians ever discovered tint they could 5C P jnte 
« deadly poison from a plant otherwise nutritious is something to won- 

A great many poisons were known and used on prditeranr culnirel 
levels The primitive Semang, and other people of Southeast Asia, «SW 
the lethal sap of the upas tree (Amiaris} to tip darts and arrows. Curare, 
nude from the sap of Stryebaw toxifcri, was widely used in w™* 
eastern South America. It purely/e, the respiratory muscles causing 
death but lea vim- the caicass quite edible, Some peoples upped arrows 
with a mixture of snakt venom and liver, Honhick and tht Cil sbar Iran 
among other poisons were also used to kill members of one's own society 

Many plant materials have twen used tn till nr stupefy fish so t « 
they hue he be easily taken fnr food. Tlic active, nr significant. *°gre ■ “ 
of some of these plants is saponin, a soiplikc male rial that smothers r 
fitih. Tannic acid or an alkaloid of some kind is the active agent in ot . 
The aborigines of Australia drugged pools with pituri, an alkaloid, i 
order to stupefy* and catch emu. , . 

Chemical knowledge of many primitive tribes is expressed in oti 
ways also, Trifies of the Northwest Coast of America chewed roti*eco 
with lime, made by burning sheik In the Andean region coca 
and in Melanesia and Southeast Asia betel nuts, were chewed *«n 
in order to produce an effect the nature of which is not too well urn * 
stood. According to one authority. lime helps to liticrete the inCO 


a lira Fohl from the arcca [ betel | miT r ’ r B Also* kmc acts 35 3 citric sedudvc 
□nd is on amid ore for minml and oxalic poisoning. 

The Indians of the Andean highlands prepared com for liie manu¬ 
facture of beer (chfcha) hy chewing it in order to institute a chemical 
process hy the action of saliva upon the grain. Starch must be trans¬ 
formed into sugar before it can be fermented. Saliva contains an enzyme 
called ptyalin* which breaks down starches, first to simple dextrin* then 
to maltose. 3 crystalline sugar. In Polynesia, the fcavi mot was chewed. 
no doubt for a similar reason, in the preparadon of kava, a sliirhtly in- 
toijcatmg drink. 

Agriculture and animal husbandry are ihe achievements of prrfiterm 
peoples. No new plant or animal has hern brought under domestication 
by modern civilized people. On rite other hand, a munlwr of useful 
plants, cultivated hy primitive peoples, have been virtually ignored hy 
modem civilization: Cbcrnpoihmi (yjufnnj) and oea. for example. 
Primitive peoples discovered rite most soluble plants in dumcsocjtc 
itid Cultivate and vie vised effective technique* for rheir cultivation. They 
developed md improved cultivarcd plants by selective breeding and 
learned to increase yields by fertilization and irrigation. 

All the kinds of tuoik known to modem civilization' — starches, sugars, 
fan or oils, proteins, “giwaii,” etc.—w ere known and used on prd iterate 
cultural levels. This does nut mean, of course, that the diet of every tribe 
Waii varied and well balanced; ir merely means that mi idem civilization 
no kind of food that was nor known to some primitive tribe some¬ 

In the preparation and preservation of foods, too, primitive peoples 
acquired ;i vast ■imcrnnr of knowledge and skill Srone boiling and c^rrii 
ovens exemplify their ingenuity and resourcefulness. Foods were pre¬ 
served in a variety of ways. In arctic regions they.- were frozen. In other 
frgions certain foods—fruits, vegetables, and meats—were preserved by 
drying. Sometimes they were sealed up airtight with tallow. In short* 
pnditCTate peoples devised virtually all the techniques known tu us to¬ 
day for preserving food, except the tin can and die airtight glass jar 
Medical diagnosis and practice among primitive peoples were not 
wholly m a g i ca l by any mean* They took i rational view of many *11* 
Tucncs md at ten spied to meat them rdkkdl^ in matter-of-fact way* 
hi certain cultures, broken bones were set wirji splint* tourniquet* were 
uscd v poultjcn and bandages employed. Steam baths were wed and mass- 
practiced bv nuny peoples- Bloodletting was i widespread ifjera- 
peutic practice, ax it was in Furopean Culture until quite recent limes. 

J Leui4 T^cH-in, Sfhtiuljtkif* /Jrajfr h P. M. A. Witth 

E. p T [‘button 4 Ca„ \ac m S + c\v York, tyjt, p, i*z. 


Some tribes of Sourh America administered enemas, using a rubber 
SL for this purpose. In surgery, the McLoi^ns ^d Pernmns dc- 
vetopTd great skill in tutting out broken bones of the skull to rch . 
3 on the brain, 'In this delicate opemtmn known » trephining. 
Lvs I .o'* it. -they were more successful than European physicians f 
the Eiifhleauh Century," * The Peruvian surgeons also antpuraLed feet 
with success; pictures on pottery bowls show men with an arttfod 
foot, taking P*«. however, in a ceremony or dunce, lied 

Ganda art Jid to have been able ‘'to cure men p.imallv disembtm riled 
from spar wounds by washing the protruding intestine*, bjrung them 
gently back into the abdomen, and keeping them in place with a piece of 

g< Ttt human heads, slirunt by the Jivam Indians, might be mentioned 
in this connection, also, since they involve knowledge arid skill m «“«™- 
raJ surgerv and mum mi (leaden The Jivam remove the bones of e 
head acid reduce it to the size of a list, resuming at the same time the 
original facial features. They are preserved by smoking—and perhaps 

oilier technique—and kept as trophies. , . - - i 

Mam pi,nr materials were used by primitive people-, in nmunagteal, 

or only partially magical, comes is in the treatment <*/ n V™"> 

kind-i It is now known flat nuns- plants used by aborigines for 
purposes such as Camara, suc« flag {Acorns}, Antfte** ^ ■{► 
root sassafras, licorice, eucalyptus. etc. do have rhcrapcutic value. It 
exceedingly difficult, however, to determine what effect certain medians 
plants will' have on patients Realise of die complexity of the them' ^ 
content of the plant* on the cine hand, and the personal idiosync 
Of individuals, on the other. In the use of plants for medicinal purpt*«. 
however, primitive peoples have discovered and recognize it»n\ ‘ 
portant drugs, such as tobacco, cocaine, quinine, ipecac, hashish, peyo * 

datur* and fly agaric, w a 

The roswr of beverages amttfig prcl iterate people* dctntmstra 
considerable knowledge of the properties of material* and of tee iniqn 
of preparation. Many (xoples have brewed leaves of plants to 
"teas-” The Pueblo Indians made a tasty and nutrioom drink ul a> 
which had been soaked and allowed to sprout, then dried, parchefl, 
ground, and used as we would use coffee. Coffee is indigenous _ 
Abyssinia, but die origin of coffee drinking is not definitely * ,wW f* t 
atHKats to have been introduced to Western culture by the Aral*. it* 
the sixteenth century, Whether coffee drinking was invented by a p 

‘B. Jl. Lowie, InmJuftom to Cultural Antbropoloey, Rinehart & 1,K * 

New York, p. j it- . . Vew 

1 G- P. Murdock, Our Pnmithr CotHvmporantt, The MaemSuG Oats p . * 

York. i«* p. «»■ 


literate people or not is unknown, but ft is interesting to note,, in this 
connection, that the Ganda of Uganda did not drink coffee, but carried 
the beans—boiled, dried* and sometimes masted—on their persons for 
occasional chewing. The Aitiee* drank chocolate, made from the cacao 
bean, flavored with vanitla. honey, or pepper. Some tribes drink milk, 
fresh or fomented, from mam a* well as from cows. 

The saps of various trees, c.g., maple and palm* arc drunk, fresh or 
fermented. A great variety of “wines/* made from sap or fmir pikes, 
are drunk by many peoples. The Hottentots drank an alcoholic beverage 
made by dilating wild honey with water and adding certain roots ro 
promote fermentation. The Ganda made a mildly intoxicating 1 xer of 
ripe banana and milter flour. The Aztecs drank pulque an dvoliohc 
beverage mode from the sup of the agave. We have already spoken of 
the fcava drink of Polynesia and the maize beer* or cbichj, of Pern, About 
the only advance made by modern civilization in the m of making liquors 
is the disrilbrion process 

In the realm of music, primitive peoples have much to their credit. 
They developed musical systems and styles ami advanced the vocal art 
as fur as parr singing. Their musical systems were often exceedingly 
complicated rhythmically—much more so than our own—but were 
relatively simple harmottictlly. Virtually all kinds nf musical instruments 
known to the modem w orld today were invented and developed by 
primitive peoples: stringed instruments of all kinds, which incidentally 
may have originated in die musical how; percussion instruments—nfrums, 
dickers, rattles; wind instruments^rilurcs, trumpets, pan pipes (our 
great pipe organs tudav arc simply pm pipes ammumiily magnified). 

Primitive peoples have some noteworthy achievements to their credit 
in ocean travel and navigatioriH Priur to rhe voyages of Columbus the most 
extensive overseas voyages, as disringuished from coastwise travel, were 
made by the Polynesians. It b 2,500 miles from Rap to Easter Island 
Regular voyages between Haw-ait and Tahiti, a distance of about 2.350 
attics were made. Their Sfiftcr&fr sometimes exceeded 100 feet in length. 
War canoes of Fiji could accommodate 2on men, warriors, end crew, 
4ftd some Tahitian canoes arc said tn have seated as many a* too. Gwr- 
wi'4 commercial craft of New Guinea, consisting of an many av seven ro 
fotiiteen dttgntftt 1 ashed together ride by side, and measuring up to 59 
feet long by yr feet wide* could cany as niuch 35 ?4 tons of cargo. 

The Marshall Islanders devised and used some very ingenious naviga¬ 
tional charts;. They were frameworks made of the midribs of cocoanut 
kaves arranged in such a way as to indicate the location of reefs, ocean 
mi elb, and currents. The position of islands was indicated by cowrie 
shells tied tu the frame. 

The accumulated knowledge, skills* tools, machines, and techniques 


developed by primitive, prditcrate peoples laid tlic basis f«r civilization 
and all the higher cultures* They invented and developed all (lie basic 
tools, weapons, and utensils. They developed the major art and crafts, 
sud, as the ceramic and u-ttik arts, and initiated rhe art of tneLtlliirgy. 
f-ood and fiber plants were brought under domestication by them, tnd 
they developed the techniques for their culture, FI icy angina ted the 

domestication of animal*, . «, ,. 

Thus during tlw fim hundreds of thousands of years of cnlture ha- 
tory, primitive peoples were acquiring realistic and matter-of-fact 
kWvEedgc and originating and perfecting rational and effective tec - 
ninues. This ase-old process accumulation and development culminated 
in the Anri cultural Revolution. which, as we have seen, profoundly 
transformed the whole cultural tradition. It is indeed remarkable to sec 
how close to the present dav primitive |icop]es luve come at many points 
on the technological level- Western civilisation surpassed primmvt tech¬ 
niques of nuking fire by mechanical friction or percussion only within 
the last i*o years. And the principle underlying am find illumination 
—burning fuel with or without a container and with nr without a vrek 

_has been out grown only within the last 75 years. As recently as 1S50 

in the United States, white frontiersmen as well «s Indians were using 
the bow and arrow in buffalo hunting in preference to the best of fire¬ 
arms then available to them. And Tylor relh us that Russian troops 
armed with bow and arrow marched down the boulevards of Pans in 
1S1 j in celebration of the defeat of N»polttm. I hm the how uni iritfu* 
a mechanical triumph of pcliterare cultures, has been rendered obsolttf 
« a prmrieaE device only within ttcenr yeans—almost witliin the memory 
of persons now living. 

The philosophies of primitive peoples are composted of l'«rh super- 
naturalistic and naturalistic demerits. In some situations the knew ' 
edqe and techniques of supertMturalism ate uppermost; in othep, natuta* 
ism predominates. And in many instances both art mingled in varymg 
degrees, and in accordance with tiic following rule: supematurwisn 
varies inversely with the cvtcnr and effectiveness of naturalistic control 
In activities where man lu* little actual control, or where chance an 
circumstance play a prominent pare, such as hunting. Iishing warfare, 
horticulture, cming sickness, or identifying persona guilty of offenses, 
recourse to super naturalism will he great In activities where man s 
control is extensive and effective, such as making a bow or chipping 
arrowhead, mating buckskin or pottery, resort to supernaoiralistn "J 
rend to be meager and perhaps only perfunctory. The siipematur JStte 
and naturalistic components of primitive philosophies do not, therefore, 
stand separate and apart from each other or constitute distinct yv* 5 

philosophy: myth ajjo tom? *7j 

or jar-it-i. Rather, tlicy imcrmingk with cun or fie r sis tivo (rases might 
in u chans!>cr t and together rhcy embrace and envelop the entire life'of 
primitive Ufam« 

Ttcbtt&iogieal mrf social desenrrinams of philosophies, In Chapter i 
wc set forth 3 theory of techmlogic*) determ marioo of cultural systems 
Social systems and ideologic were seen as [unctions of technological 
systems. Bur since philosophies express experience, they must reflect the 
influence of social life as well as of systems of energy and tools. We dmll 
review briefly the influence of technological and sociological factors 
upon primitive philosophies. 

Fundamental in die experience of man is the "technology" of his own 
body; liis bodily structure, erect posture, sense organs, ctc + As a mere 
animal* man's experience would differ bur Jiuk from rhar of an anthropoid 
ape. Me would feel the same earth benefit his feet, sec the same fields 
and Jiiik and sky, hear the vtme songs of birds ami the cwshing of 
fcbdiakr; thr same mines would assail Jus nrafrik the same faves affect 
hi* palate. Bur as a human being, man's whole experience becomes 
tinged with culture. Everything that he does* thinks, nr feeb is eondi- 
dtitied by this cxtTa-vninark 1 radii [on. Culture b interposed between him 
and tins external world, and a|J Jib experience of it is refracted by 
thk medium through which it passed Alan cannot even see the same 
moon or Htar^ that tlie ape beholds. To the ape they arc merely points 
or areas of light, but to man they arc characters in 1 story of creation 
rhuf b suffused with wonder and awe. Plants and animals become beings 
tijar can be constrained with magic, and even ihc poorest stone nuy 
house a spirit. Culture has added i new dimension to primate experience. 

As the culture, so the experience; as the experience* so the philosophy. 
And since every cultural system rests upon a technological basis, as of 
course it mast since it is here and with these means that mm and culture 
arc ameubted with earth and cosmos* both experience and the philoso¬ 
phy that reflects it will depend upon the techno tog tea] component of 
the culture. A primitive technology means a primitive philosophy: 
mythology. A culture activated by human energy alone will differ from 
mc in which die surfs rays are harnessed with the techniques of agri- 
folturc iind animal husbandry. 

flenedici hxs asserted tluc religion is independent of technology, that 

"tfo luiijjfF can man eun/pmr reality irnmedi airly, he cannui see k as It were, 
r«.y to fact. Physical reality scents ro recede in is nun's symbolic 

uvuy advjnrat. |Mnn3 has to enveloped hlmadf in lingniprie form*, in wtime 
an *| c *' iu nnyihkiiS syraf^chlx of rdJgiiFm titei thal he tznnat we nr know anything 
(lcr P* l*y fhe imcrpnsidiMi of tJu* trrificlaC ppedi nitt. " t'msi Cmirer, An Ef? j> On 

V*lt Utivmky pn^ New fEaitn* Cornu (944, p> ij- 


man -can **} of technologic! develop*™* create hi* p* * *. 
most diverse form Italics supplied J.” r But this is manifestly nm™. 
In cultures where the superiorities of animals over man are manjtat 
on everv hand-in size, strength, speed, and special abilities liketk«* 
of the cobra, skunk, seal, eagle, or muk-thc attitude of manns no the 
same as it b in cultures where man's supremacy—thanks to lus teth luk-gy 
—is undisputed. In primitive cultures man did not consider himself both 
superior and unique, nor even prmtus inter pores, he was mere >' one o 
Oil animals and often so inferior that they became lm gods m 
prevalence of animal gods—the bear, snake, eagle, an . if 

literate, tribal cultural levels, the wide occurrence of tolf-man. Mi¬ 
te# gods in the cultures of the Bronze Age-such as gods With the heads 
of cafe or birds, or the bodies of bulls or hippos, m Egypt and Mta °‘ 
poiuinia—and the emphasis upon anthropomorphic denies in modem cul¬ 
ture* cannot be without significance, although these correlations arc not 

yer well understood, ...» 

' The social experience of primitive man in societies based upon Mnsmp 
b reflected in his mythologies. Nut only are subhuman species his neigh¬ 
bors, they are often tus friends and even his kinsmen. ’1 son a kangaroo, 
iays an Arunta in identifying himself with Ills totem- Aru tn tn) i ( 
and tales, lower animals and birds can assume the human form-, a am 
mob can speak and intermarry freely with man. In Christian 
hv contrast, man alone Iws a soul atu! his nonhuman kin are degraded U 
the level of beasts- Apropos of Benedict's pronouncement about the 
independence of religion from techrmlogy and stages of social evolu¬ 
tion, we may observe that no primitive culture is capable of having 
dcilv who is*" f ChristJ the royal master 7 ’ or “Great God our Afflg, jusr 
as alpha hff % keystone arches, and tempered steel are incompatible 
with F.inu totems. Sun Youth, and Spider Grandmother. 

Culturil systems are self-consistent, as they are coherent an ■ nH j' 
grated. A primitive society goes with a primitive technology, an 
are reflected and expressed by a primitive philosophy. 

1 Ruth Benedict, "Anihropology *nd the Humanities," Airttruan AmL-rcpoto^it, 
tal pK (V J®th >W S - 


We have row traced the course of cultural development from its be¬ 
ginnings a million years ago until the eve of die Agricultural Revolu¬ 
tion, less than ten thousand years ago. We Itavc treated the evolution 
of culture from a number of sT^dpoiri^^cdinoIogkal, sociological, 
and ideological—and in its functional and structural aspects. We shall 
now try to grasp this process in Its entirety, to envision primitive cul¬ 
ture as a whole- 

We fiitrsr lurgin with man's prehuman ancestors, from whom the 
two basic units of human society at its inception were inherited- the 
family and the local, temtnrial group. Articulate speech and the human 
use of toot, were the means whereby anthropoid society was irarw- 
Uitrmd into human society and the mt iru hv which man was eventually 
to jcqulre control over physical forces of mature and mastery over 
many species nf plants and animats. Families were the building blocks 
with which the new society was to be Constructed, To the narrow fam¬ 
ily function «f sex was added 3 broader economic function and the all- 
embracing function of mutual aid. Families were united with one another 
by Strong ties of marriage. Kinship Beattie the basis of social organiza¬ 
tion, As society evolved under the impetus of Increased technological 
control over nature, the processes of exogamy and endogamy opera red 
to increase the size of rhe cooperative group of kindred white at rhe 
same rime maintaining its solidarity and effectiveness. The radius of 
kinship was extended until the boundaries of the community were 
reached, eventually the whole tribe became a unified, integrated group 

kindred living together on terms Of muTiial aid. 

Custom in general and special codes nf etiquette and ethics served 
to integrate and regulate societies. Classes were defined ami kept intact 
by rules of etiquette; rhe general welfare was fostered by ethical rules. 
Division of labor nod specialisation of function marked the enure of 
social evolution. Special mechanisms of iniegrtJUon T regulation, anil 
Patrol made their appearance in the evolution of culture, as they did 


6 hr].M mvt culture 

in biwlogiwt colutiun. Headmen, dWefc Jxm'ns. and “<■'« sock ™ 
mpplenLed «» Ki =«te •» toW **■*““ ” ,J "' aM ‘ 

^ f+. «•« «-« 

with their kinship systems. The dude and rights of bmh.p were * PP «J 

to customs of property. Individual rights were enjoyed, but theduy 
to shire with uiic's kinsman was always present. C^toms of hospitality 
and the codes of kinship created a system of sharing that w*. sirtiuUy 
communistic in character. This system of mutual aid and 
worked for social solidarity, on the one hand, and provided ecoimnuc 
securin' for all. on the other. Resources of nature might tie privately 
owued-or rather held, for right to use rather than absolute md ex¬ 
clusive p,*scxina characterized the economic systems of vul¬ 
tures—hut never so mrcnrivcly as to delude anyone from tree access ™ 
nature. Everyone and cvety class fa primitive society lad fi™ *™ 
ro the resources of nature and to technological means of production- 
was this freedom to exploit nature that made it impossible, in primitive 
society based upon kinship, for man to exploit man. Tree access MMCure 
and freedom to own and use the technological means of production 
provided primitive society with a secure and substantial foundation for 
freedom and equality: everyone was free to go to nature to obtain 
things to satisfy his needs all were equal in this respect. The OTHBum- 
rion'of society on the basis of kinship added ‘’ftatenutv to libcrn 
and equality, this forming the great triad which, as Morgan noted 
lone ago, marks the institutions of tribal society. . 

Much of the knowledge of primitive peoples was mythologies an 
mabc-bclitvc, but they possessed an enormous amount of pracoca an 
useful knowledge as wdl. But myths, magic, and ritual ate not to 
despised and belittled by any means. They provided man with a cour¬ 
age and j confidence that he needed, they gave him a feeling ofcoiue- 
quence in the cosmic scheme of things anil made him feci that life was 
worthwhile, Myths and talcs fed hk mind and sustained hi* *pmt wit i 
a food that was often sorely needed. Grear and colorful ceremonies 
dramatized episodes in the mythology of a past fiJIed with marvels m 
provided man with the riches and the satisfactions of the theater, m 
which lie was alternately actor and spectator. Lesser magical> g |lC 
man the illimnn of Control, and this illusion was as precious as it w_ 
real; it provided a sense of power and security as a bulwark again: 

fear and impotence, 4 , . . » 

The pan»mma of primitive culture is kaleidoscopic in Its variety'- 
erode culture and an inhospitable habitat might well menn a bars a 1 
wretched life for its inhabitants. Other cultures anJ habitats, however, 
might provide more than enough food for needs and leave ample tune 


2 77 

leisure and the cultivation nf the m Nani rail/, the culture* of primi¬ 
tive man were of little nr no avail m time of natural catastrophe such 
flood* drought, tornado, or earthquake. Cue in this respect they were 
but little more helpless than our own k today in similar circumstance. 
For the most pan, primmve cultures could provide enough to cat in 
nonrul times and enough shelter for comfort. The very crude cultured 
aborigines of Australia were able to score up enough food in advance, 
so chat they could devote themselves to drama and dance for days* or 
even weeks, on end. Myth and ceremony gave i richness to life that was 
not found among the masses during the Bronze Age, the Middle Ages of 
western Europe or even among the industrial proletariat of modem 

Probably the weakest and least effectual pur of primitive cultures 
wjs their techniques for coping with sickness and j^easc. They did 
possess some genuine knowledge rind some practical and effective tech¬ 
niques, 2i vve have already note d in Chapter 10, “Philosophy-^ But ex¬ 
cept for relatively minor mailers, these were of liitlc avail* In many cul¬ 
tures the death rife among infants was appallingly high, and the hoards 
mi vicissitudes of adolescence and aitulrhood took their toll, too, Bui 
in many societies, if one could survive the ttfncstts of infancy and 
diiMImod he, or shc t had a good chance to live to a ripe old age. And 
rtie tliniinarinu of iltc weak and the biologically unfit by Hcknesi -and 
disease tended in many insane^ to produce a stuck that won admira- 
finn imj praise from European travelers for its physical excellence and 
tv hi beauty. Hut ignorant and inclined toward magic as primitive peo¬ 
ple* were, and crude and ineffectual as were their medical techdqites 
and practices* they were not far below the people* of western Europe 
as recently as the eighteenth century; as any history of medicine will 
make abundantly clear. 1 

However crude ami ineffectual primitive cultures were in their control 
over the forces of nature, they had worked our a system of human reb- 
tranships that has never been equaled since the Agricultural Revolution, 
The warm, substantial bond* nf kinship uniied man with man. There 
were no lords or vassals, serfs or slaves* in tribal society* In social ritual 
one man might make obeisance td another, bm no one kept anoiher in 
bondage and lived upon the fruits of his labor. There Mere no mort¬ 
gage^ retire debtors, or usurers in primitive society, and no one was 
ever sent to prison for stealing food tn feed. Ills children- Food was not 
adulterated with harmful substances In order to make money out of 
human misery. There were no rime clocks, no or overseers in prim¬ 
itive society, and a two-week vacation was noc one's quota of freedom 
for d year, 

*5«* for ruftipir. R. R. Ltrmt'i Art Wf for a comproMHt* 


Crude and limited as primitive cultures may have been technologically, 
and ^fetched and poor as life may have Ijcen for may —but far from 
aU—peoples living in tribal organization, rheir social systems based upon 
binsldp and characterized by liberty, quality, and fraicrnsty were un¬ 
questionably more congenial to the human primates nature, and more 
compatible with Ills psychic needs and aspirations, than any other that 
lias ever been realized in any of rhe cultures subsequent to the Agricul¬ 
tural Revolution, including our Oivn society today.* 

■A v„e*m Bririth edmognphcr. Mtein Spcwrr, once decl«ed h» t h, kit 
and aeaunent’' of women » m!«s \ t 

lowe* euhum abstrred hy nKxIein science, were W prtfeft.hl* «o*p ’°l j«“- 
dndt end dw.i^di nf women m Britnh duim." '» ‘ AuttrtUt, 

vnl, I, Msemilbn 4 Co , l td . Lon-hw, iv*S, p- >«». 

PART TWO The Agricultural Revolution 

and Its Consequences 


Wc come now to a most interesting and impomne period in the history 
of Culture, namely, the iirst great tulrural revolution. After about a mo¬ 
tion years of cultural development, during which time cultural systems 
were activated almost exclusively by energy from the human organism, 
a radical change look place: solar energy was ha messed in the fomi nf 
planes and animat*. The consequences were profound and comprehensive* 
Social organisation was transformed from tribal society based upon Mu¬ 
sh rp, to civil society organized upon the basis of property relations. Hie 
ideological sector of culture, too. underwent change, but not as great as 
in the case of the sociological component, 

Evaltittfm ind rt i oiutt&n designate ways in which the temporal-formal 
process expresses it 1 elf. Ir will be recalled that in Chapter i we disarm 
gubhed a Tcmpral*fonrtd process as well as a temporal and a non- 
temporal, formalTunctidtal process. The temporal-formal process is 
duractcrizcd by a chronological sequence of forms: one form grows out 
of one anj into another, lliis process is usually called evolution, sod we 
have w> termed ir In Chapter i. But it will Itc useful and instructive to 
distinguish between quantitative and qualitative dianges which may Take 
place within this temporal-formal process. When the changes arc quanti¬ 
tative we call the temporal-formal process evolution^ when they are 
qualitative wc call it revolution. When in the emm of reproduction and 
descent a small primate species becomes a large primate species, we call 
h evolution. Bur when a qualitative change take? place, such as occurred 
jn the origin of man with his new and unique ability to symbol, we call 
it revolution, Man is the child of the Primate Revolution. The terms 
evolution and revolution arc applicable to systems, or systemic proces¬ 
ses, only. Evolution is change within rlic framework an d limits of a sys¬ 
tem. Revolution is a radical transformation of a system, the substitution 
of one principle, or basis, of organization for another. 

As we have made dear, evolution and revolution are correlative and 
complementary concept not mutually exclusive or opposite* Both may 



characterize a single temporal-forma] process. The evolution of writing 
been punctuated hv periods of revolutionary transformation, e.g.. m 
the transformation of picture wriring into rebus writing, and ite m «a 
L alphabetic writing. Biological evolution has been 

revolutionary innovations * lungs for breathing air, legs for ter¬ 
restrial locomotion, «r the emergence of mammal In the ° 

culixire the change from primitive society to civil society was rcsolu- 

^ChSiges of decree sometimes accumulate and culminate in changes of 
l ind Tims, additional quantities of heat applied to water will eventually 

transform it from a liquid to s vapor. Chang* of JJJ 

system of an anthropoid may eventually produce a brain capable of sy m 

ImlinEf The transiriim from hieroglyphic to alphabet wriang, however, 

L ^plained in tins way. No amount of change within the frame, 

work of hieroglyphics would of itself produce 

Although alphabetic writing gTew out of hieroglyphtc m a 

a certain extent, it would he wrong or misleading to «p!im the «w 

principle as the result of quantitative change alone. There 

Inti abrupt substitution of a new principle for on old one. 

may he said that no amount of change or growth ^hinpnmmrt^ 

doty based upon kinship could ever have produced civil 

upon property relations. This was a sodden and abrupt change, a rctolu- 

“ We have just used the term ludden la characterizing revolution^ 
change, and there Is more than a little justification for di* 
e ra ^crimes sudden, abrupt, and swiftly executed tramfomunom 
Tlic transformations from the autocratic government of Russia under me 
czars to the bourgeois, capitalist government under Kerensky, am 
in turn to the Soviet regime under Lenin, were both sudden and rev or- 
tionarv. The invention of the alphabet, which constituted a revolution;.r> 
transformation of the art of writing, probably took pl*ce fu ‘ cn V 
But whether a transformation is to be described * swift and sU 
Gradual is a relative matter. We do not believe that a primate spe > 
acquired and cmplov^d tht Ability to symbol in <s matter <■ C]] _ 

years. It took ages fur neurological evolution to resell rhr point o sv 
boiic expression, Wbert a certain threshold was reached* the («« „ 
this ability can, we believe, lie fairly described as abrupt and ™dd . 
these are relative terms, relative to the amount of time required 
vcjiip ilic neurological basis for symboling. We do not Relieve t 
dealtte speech came into being overnight or within the span of * _ - 
generation. In the growth of an infant in the sped* homo up* 
threshold of tile al>tlity to symbol may l x reached at an instant. mi 
quires nm« to develop arid e&rablhh patterns of behavior ba« ™ 


symbol ing; We may recall here that Helen Keller reached and crossed 
the threshold of sym holing in an instant. But it took time to develop 
partem? of human behavior, 1 

Tlie process of technologic*] change in western Europe between juk 
tpo. say, and the cud of the eighteenth century h custoimrily spoken 
of as the Industrial Revolution,, yet it extended over * period of centuries. 
Bur this was a relatively short rime compared with the four or five- mil¬ 
lennia of cultural development preceding thii era* And so it k with the 
Agricultural Revolution, ft required centuries, or even a few thousand 
years, but against rise background of the vast ages of wild food and human 
energy, the transition to a domestic food supply and the hamc-tring of 
solar energy must be reckoned as bath sudden and swift. Even five tfum- 
sond years it hut onc-half of one per cent of rhe million or yean of 
cultural development. 

Agriculture was not the result of a single discovery or invention. The 
theory that H the ides" of the cultivation of plants suddenly flashed across 
the mind of some uian or woman long ago, evoked perhaps by the dis¬ 
covery that seeds thrown away from a meal had subsequently sprouted* 
^rnJ that the whole complex of agricultuml techniques and practices grew 
mt uf ihb “idea.” is simple and naive. It is. of course, but an example of 
the anrliropomorphic and psychologism: type of explanation of culture 
that tm so long characterized the rclkcrinni of the folk ami the layman. 
According to this point of view, to explain an clement of culture, all you 
have to do Is to invoke a hypothetical individual who first “got rhe idea" 
of the trait in question; the trait k regarded as the external expression of 
the idea. If an invention or discovery did not take place, it was because 
no one "had the idea* 1 * The sterility of such reasoning is obvious. Events 
are “explained 1 ' in terms of ideas. But the occurrence or fionoccurrcnce 
of ideas is not explained at alL 

We are not to think of the origin of agriculture as due to the chance 
discovery that seeds thrown away from a meal subsequently sprouted. 
Mankind knew alt this and more fur tens of thousands of years before the 
cultivation of plants began. We know that primitive peoples of modem 
times, wholly without agriculture, have nevertheless an abundant and 
accumc knowledge of the liora nf their habitats. They know' that teed* 
sprout, that pure he d plants arc revived by rain 1 that (hey grow better in 
one soil ihan another* etc. No tribe nf lire modern world* however prim¬ 
itive, b Without a vast amount of realistic know ledge and understanding 
de nature and behavior of plants in their locality, and we may there¬ 
fore infer that prehistoric man, long before rhe origin of agriculture. 

a like knowledge nf his flora. The origin of agriculture was not* 
tiiercfore* the rcsulr of an idea or discovery; the cultivation of plinth 

^ kaUi: A. White. The Sekn ,fw cf Culture, 1^49* pp. 

„„ 4 n it . agricultural jtEvournoit and its cotfswtntwcw 

requircJ no new fa«s or knowledge. Agriculture vm mmpfy * n™ kmd 
of^relationship between man-or more properly-, woroir^d plan* 
Ml peopl^ ua plwt materials in one Way or another, Mans prehuman 
anecsinn undoubtedly subsisted in parr, perhaps largely, upw plant_ foods. 

3 u i.. W«Wc <h« M rf.. 

ands at years of Ininun lustniy, hive irad plant* for food 111J olio fat 
other mupSs. E«n a people like the modem Eskimo, who fid** 
largely upon meat, nevertheless herns, leave, hchens. ere,, even 
JEging Um material from the intestines of Haiti canhoti for then mett 
We have, then, an intimate association between man and the Ann of 
his habitat throughout the entire length of human history And thn in¬ 
timate association meant knowledge and understanding of plants 
part, a. we lave jet indicated. At the outset nf I*™""* “ 
EeL man was exploiting the wild-plant resources of lift habrttf i, F* * 
his anthropoid ancestors had done before him. Various tools and tech¬ 
niques were devtsed and developed for this purpose. Innumerable cul¬ 
tural systems have been quite capable of providing the human Mg 
within’ their embrace with an adequate supply of food derived wholly 
from wild flora and fauna. Cultural systems relate man to ” 

equilibrium can be established in this relationship as in others. When an 
equilibrium has l>een established culturally between man ami 
n» v be continued indefinitely, until it is upset by rite intrusion of a new 
factor, the disappearance of an old one. <*r a radical change in ■ >e cu 
tural configuration. Agriculture began when the old equilibrium of tun¬ 
ing und cadiertng was upset, and a new Type of adjustment, * new Jand 
gf relationship CO local flora, became requisite to survival. 

We have no adequate records of how, when, and where this new iyf* 
of adjustment became necessary and took place. We do know, how ever, 
that man’s whole relationship with planti, involves two significant taaoiv 
human effort, nr labor, on the one hand, and plant materials capable 
serving human needs and obtained by the expenditure of human energy! 
nji the other. There is a ratio £:P between the expenditure o\ humm 
enow and plant product. In the gathering nf wild-plant fond so nw 
ergs of human energy are expended and so many calorics of fond art _ 
rained, If mturaj resources ire abundant, the amount of food nttat " 
per unit of human energy expended will be Urge; if they art meager, 
return will be small, the technological factor being constant. ^ 

En order to continue to exist, nun must obtain from Ills efforts at ca 
as much cnrrjry in the form nf food as lie hi!- expended in putting _ 
these efforts;’should he receive less he will eventually die of st *[T^l „ 
Te is of course desirable from the standpoint of security and surma _ 
obtain considerably more energy in the form of food than was e*pe™> 
in obtaining it. There have been, as we know, many cultural *> 

Till Ati&TCUtTUMU ftfWtmOl 285 

tint hive been able to mate life secure for its human occupnnu bv ex¬ 
ploiting the wild-food resources of their respective habifaE^ iVlanv 
have been able to do much more dun to supply the bare nccesfrlc* of 
life; they Imvc provided surpluses which have made a considerable 
amount of art, ceremony, and recreation possible. Even very crude cul¬ 
tures Ulte those of aboriginal Australia were able to do this. 

But suppose die relationship between man and his wild-plane fetid 
supply undergoes change adversely to man. Population pressure upon 
food supply may he increased by immigration. Or the food supply may 
decrease as 1 consequence of metcorologic or physiographic chsiige. In 
tidier case, the ainrrunt of food per capita per square mile will decrease 
if the technologies] factor remains constant* This will mean a decrease 
of amount of food produced per unit of human energy expended. If 
food is fCiirec in one's immediate vicinity* he may mate up for the de¬ 
ficiency by foraging farther afield* but this requires more effort, more 

Ji may happen* therefore, that the amount of food obtained per mil 
of human energy' expended may be diminished from one cause or an¬ 
other. When this occurs: one or another of the following cuasequenecs 
must follow: (1} a lower standard of living, or* to express it in other 
wonts* cultural regression (3) emigration, or (j) agriculture or animal 
husbandry or bothn 

In analyzing the energy relationship between man and plants—energy 
expended, plant food obtained—we must consider not only the amount uf 
energy expended in huiibm labor but the way in which it is expended 
as ivelL Gathering wild plant food is one wav of expending human energy 
in food production^ agriculture Is another. Agriculture is merely the 
name we give to voting ways of increasing man's control over ihe lives 
of ptiiiCL And the significant thing about [his increase in control is that 
it may increase the amount of food produced per unit of human labor. 
The farmer with well-developed agricultural techniques can produce 
much more food per unit of human energy expended, or better* per 
uian-ycor* than can the gatherer of wild plant food in nil bur the most 
abundant of wild resources. 

Ac certain time* and places in the course of culture history, the threat 
of a diminished food supply* coming from an increase of population 
prtsmre through immigration, or from a decline in local flora due to 
climatic or physiographic cEungc, was met by various measures of cul¬ 
tural control over plant life* which, collectively. wc call agriculture. 

VVe qrc ^rill faced with such questions as* 41 Why did ■agriculture begin, 
m l ^ Sc CMd World, about $ooo b.c. rather than 50*000?" and “Why did it 
tafjin vherc it did rather than in other placesV 1 These are questions of 
spccilic fact rather than problems of general theory* and wc do not have 


eoongh facts to answer them at present. We must suppose that a certain 
of cultural development is nccc^ry for the umgum of W 
Sadturi technology; we would not expect fhtf a etiM only 

jlooo or ioOjOoo vers above «H anthropoid level could launch an ag¬ 
ricultural way of life. But we see no reason why‘cultural jsicms <rf 
tie, (U-. 950.000 years old) Wuld not have been capable of nng- 

£Z « win»>y«™>»»r «• 'yrr 5 

We must loot, then, to environmental—climane and physiographic 
factors and to the possibility of population movements, rather than to 
cultural factors, for the answers to these questions. 

Guide and the Bra id woods have suggested that climatic charge at the 
dose Of the bst great Jcc Age in the Old World, with t* consequent 
dianiJH in Bon. and fatmi, aifected cultural systems and set the stage lor 
icricSTrure and animal husbandry, if it did not actually; inmate the* 
arts. 1 According m their theory, great areas of central A«a be^ 
jeeated r.ttcr the retreat of the ice sheti-aitd there appeal to he geolug-c 
evidence of this—causing their inhabitants to migrate to more smraic 
habitats. This migration increased the population, and consequently t ie 
pressure upon food supply, in the areas in which the 
The incre^ed pressure upon food supply upset th c equilibrium benv«n 
need and supply, initiating attempts to control food supply thi(n 'S* " 
use of new techniques—as well as. perhaps, the refinement or cxteit i 
of old ones—to control the growth and reproduction ol plants, llu* 

^Asri^hure, then, is a matter of cultural control over flic lives or plant 
tpeeics. And this control was nor 1 matter of all nr none, but 1 matter »t 
kind and decree. We can observe beginnings of such contrul among many 
cultures usually—and quite properly—designated as mmagric mirs * 

First of all, «« doubt, were tlic magical attempts at control. The 10 
ceremonies of aborigiiLil tribes of Australia well exemplify 1 f 
to control the lives of certain plant and animal specie* and to 
The food supply thereby. Eventually, and at first sporadically and 1 
by little, came rational attempts at control. Seeds might be sown, * n 1 ' 
left to themselves: many tribes of the Great Lakes region m North * . 

ica used to sow wild rice in murshcs to increase the yield, but did J- 
eke until the harvest. Sonic wild plants were tended to help them itl t 

'V. Gordon Oiihtc, Hippvtt* m Him tj, |ip J*. 4»; 

wood. FTT&mrrtc Mtn, w*. PP- 7*, 7*-"'- baidwoenfe 
^ncutitire may not have erhjimttd m the fertile worn valley o the <M W. 
u previotuly supposed, but on the “Wily fUnks" of I hew Rpnnt Ui*k *' . . * 

J. Bnidwood, “On die Treatment of Hie Prehistoric .Near M«V ^ 

&cw»rd'* CelKiwI Causality and Law,'- Amman Anthropology, voi- ft* P 

1 <W- 

im Atinttrt'trtTWL hetollthh* 1 S 7 

struggle with nature, Irrigation preceded agriculture in some regions.’ 
The first agriculture was nomadic, so 10 speak, in ^ntc instancy Segb 
would be sown in the spring before leaving ihe winter e ncamp men f far 
the rammers hunt or grazing. Upon returning in the fall the crops, if snv 
remained, would Ik harvested. 

increased concern with plant growth* more Control over their way of 
life, reef ted in increased yields. Ijahor spent Ln this my came to be more 
prafiralile, mure lucrative, titan effort confined to gathering natural prod¬ 
uce only. Control became deliberate end systematic. New techniques 
were developed, and new toot invented. More and owe plants, for 
textile!, drugs, and liquors, as well as for food, were domttfknfcd* The 
ter seeds were used for planting. Competing plunt* were eliminated 
or restricted by hoeing end weeding. Fields were fertilised; arid lamb 
irrigated. The agricultural arts evolved in two stages: horticulture, or 
garden culture w ith the dibbte anri hoe; and agriculture, or field culture 
with the plow, In the earlier stage, (fit cultivation of plants was probably 
the work of women. As dependence upon garden produce incrc,Lsed f 
cultivation grew in importuned and m man y instances passed into the hands 
of mm* This was rmc pamailarly where the plow was used. Thus the 
agricultural arts were developed, Beginning in Neolithic times, they hud 
grown in the relatively short period of a few thousand years to maturity 
and had produced the great urban, metallurgical literate. cilendriciJ 
dvffiwrions of antiquity. 

Tlie observations jusr made concerning the origin of agriculture will 
apply also to the origin of jmum. 1 husbandry. The domestication of an- 
imab fc not 10 he thought of as the result of an idea whkh fiashed across 
some man's mind about iq,ooq bal It was not the result of a sudden dis- 
covery, either of fact or of concept* Alan had been living in Intimate 
association with other animal species for hundreds nf thousands of years. 
We know from studies of prditerate cultures of the modem world that 
even the most primitive of peoples have a great deal of accurate and de¬ 
tailed knowledge of the fauna of their habitats, and it ts a reasonable in¬ 
ference thar all tribes, thousands of years before domestication began, had 
a comparable knowledge of the animal species in rheir own localities* 
Animal husbandry, like agriculture, is most proflfably to be regarded is 
’ cfaange in the relationship between man and the oilier aftim.fl species 
with which he was associated. The domestication of animab b merely 
the imposition and extension of cultural control over the lives of certain 
■aniitul species. 

It has often been assumed that the domestication of animals was moti- 

* ri Jiilim H. Steward* "Irrigation without Agriculture," Piper t\ MidAgm Artemy 
Srimtt, Ant tfflj vd. n F pp. 


vatcd bv rational and utilitarian considerations, and ihcrc is no doubt 
but that they played a part, perhaps the principal role m the prwe«. 
But then: arc reasons for believing that this is not the whofc story. Some 
primitive peoples keep domestic animals or fou h tor use in mag^l nr- 
Lais and domestication may. in sonir Instances, have grown out «l sud, 
practice. Again, some primitive peoples keep various ammals^birdi 
ind reptile L well as marrtm*!^ pe K , Domestication may have b«n 
initiated in this way in some instances. And with regard to 
motives, wt have already noted, in Chapter a, that *. 
domcanetted sheep had no woo], or at least none suitable for tefldc pur- 
noses and cattle were not milked until centuries after char domestica¬ 
tion '—although, of course, botli sheep and cattle could have been kept 

It seems best, therefore, to assume that more than one factor, or monve, 
ployed a part in the domestication of animals. Furthermore it seems 
reasonable'to think of not ant single occurrence of domestication, bur 
of a few or several. In some instances magical nr mud reasons may have 
been uppermost. In others, as Morgan long ago Suggested, u nm ia»e 
resulted from “die capture of the young of... animals and rearing than, 
not unlikely, from the merest freak of fancy,’** But whatever f flC 
may have established the symbiotic relationship between man and ottver 
aniinals in the first place, we may be sure that it was practical and Un¬ 
itarian considerations that developed, expanded, and extended these re¬ 
lationships later, in the art of animal husbandry. The relationship bethel, 
man and other species had of cou™ been close and intimate for a '«? 
[one time. Man Imd depended, in varying degrees, upon animals lor MoJ 
and other and useful materials for hundreds of thousands o< 
yean prior to domestication, Tire exploitation and utilization of ihv >» * 
of a remon is a form of control over nature exercised by ttwm The do¬ 
mestication of animals a merely an enlargement and an intcnsification o 
this relationship of control as the consequence of the introduction ot 
new principle: keeping animals alive for use instead of killing them 
use. This change in the relationship between man and certain other *_ 
inul species was no doubt brought about by the same f acton w 
initiated and established agriculture, c 

In regions where both agriculture and animal husbandry were or - 
bshed, the latter did much to complement the former, ns well as to iMr 
t distinctive contribution of its own. Beasts could be used to drew p _ 
or vehicles and as motive power for irrigation pumps and grinding n« 

*R. H. Lawir, An tmtodtatUm to Cultural Antbropetogy, rev, «!„ '«*■ PP r ■* 1 ’ 

•L, II. Malgin, Ancient Society, 18". p. 41- 


Thtir dung could be used for ferrilister or for fuel Livestock could be 
fed in pier on cultivated plants. Meat and milk prodded a stable and 
nurririems food supply in many cultural systems, Thus, in some regions, 
Agriculture primarily or alone, in others, agriculture and mml huv 
bandry together, prodded the motive force for the First Great Cultural 
RcrvoEwjf in. We yhall now trace the steps in this process. They follow one 
another naturally and logically* 

The fitit link in the chain of consequences flowing from the new 
technology was an increase in food supply. When the photosvnthetk 
process of capturing and storing energy from the sun Mas brought under 
cultural control, the amount of food produced per time of human bbor 
increased. This increase continued until rbe agricultural arts had reached 
maturity,, With an increase in food supply, the population increased in 

There had undoubtedly been increases in food supply during Pale¬ 
olithic times, too, when wild animals and plants w ere rhe basts of sub- 
Amice, improved tools, weapons, and tcchmoucfi augmented the amount 
of food obtained. And an increase in population followed upon a more 
abundant supply of food. Hue social organization was changed tittle, if 
Al slL Instead of greatly enlarging the rifce of the soda) uniT t the group 
divided* a portion of the trilie broke away and formed a new tribe. This 
wm 1 - made neecsoiary, of cfuirse* by the mode of exploitation, tn 1 wild- 
food economy, ihe human population of a given area canttnc increase 
beyond a certain point: the limit of its food supply* A trilie miEjht in- 
crease in good times, but when Jean times came, a portion would lave 
to Jwve the parent body and seek a livelihood elsewhere, Abundant 
evidence indicates that new rrihes were formed in this wuy many times, 
Tills periodic division of tribes was compatible with Their mobile, if not 
twjn*dic, mode of life, 

Whefk however, die agricultural arts had been considerably developed* 
muJring in a substantial increase in amount of food produced per unit 
of human labor* and w K heo this in turn increased the population, the 
people could remain in the same territory because its productive capacity 
™ keen increased. And until agriculture liad reached a certain stage 
nf development* the land would continue to produce mure and more food 
per acre, as well as more per unit of human labor. Hie sedentary mode of 
hftt made necessary by all but the most rudinicntiry forms of agriculture, 
flbu disposed the people to remain where they w ere, 

^ ith the development of the agricultural am? goes an increase in the 
productivity of human labor and an increase in popular fort* both in ab¬ 
solute minibers and in dmaty per square mile. But ihe political come- 


qucnccs of this increase in population may vary. They will depend upon 
J V£rv important relationship; the ratio between nun-hours spent in food 

production and calories of food produced. 

In a wild-food economy the amount of food obtained vanes to some 
extent with the amount of time spent in hunting, gathering, etc. A hunter 
m , v obtain more game bv four hours of hunting than by only two, Hie 
same would hold for a woman gathering wild plant food. But the amount 
nf wild food obtained is not proportional to rhe amount « time spent 
Beyond a certain paint, the amount of food obtained by adthnnnil man- 
hours diminishes with each additional hour. The hunter or plant gatherer 
miv be able to obtain more food by working longer, but to do this he 
must eo farther afield and therefore spend more and more of his time 
troinc to and from Jiis camp, which time and labor are unproductive nf 
food Moreover, if hunters and gatherers exploit the resources of a lo¬ 
cality faster than they are renewed by natural increase, additional amt 
spent in food getting will actually and eventually rtJuct the food supply 
0 f the area, decreasing the number of calorics per man-hour. In a wild- 
food economy, therefore, there is a Limit, both to the absolute amount nf 
food obtainable per capita per year and to the number of calones pro¬ 
duced per man-hour. , . , . 

With agriculture if is different. More food can be produced per unit 
of human labor, and more per square mile. And these rates can be in¬ 
creased as the agricultural arcs arc improved. Hut in agricultural sy^j 
tems the ratio between man-hours of labor expended and cabinet oH«m 
produced varies, and this variation is very significant for social and po¬ 
litical organization. The population may be dense whether the amount 
of food produced per man-hour is great or small, hut the structure ol 
society will vary, depending upon the relationship between rlioc iui> 
factors. If the food return per man-hour be low, there will 1* relatively 
little division of labor along occupational lines, little specialization £>l 
occupation and profession, possibly no class stratification at all, aiu nc 
large population organized under one government. If. however, ne > ie 
per man-hour ts high, there will Itc division of labor, specialization 
occupation, and. when a certain point is reached, class stratification, » 
transformation from tribal to civil, nr stare, organization. Ler us 1 
srrate these propositions with examples of (t) the rice-growing in 
Luzon and (i) the agriculture nf ancient Egypt. . ■ 

The Ifugao and the Bourne l go rot of Luzon grow nee as their pn 
crpal crop "by intensive agricultural techniques. So intensive * s , t ‘ lCir , < ^ t 
rivacion that rhev are nblt to produce a very large amount of 
m U; irc mile. As a consequence of this, they arc able to maintain a ye.7 
Urge population per square mifc. T 3 ic density of pdpttUpovi m * fil!ie ® r „ 
highly cultivated regions in Luzon is truly impressive for p 



cultural systems: possibly as much n i*ooo per squaj x mile of cultivated 
bod* 1 Tbc population of these areas is therefore much grater rhan could 
be supported anywhere by hunting and gathering alone. 

But although the yield per square mile is high in Luzon, the yield per 
man-hour b low* A very large portion of the time of the adtilo; both 
tnen atui women, h -spent in agriculture, and even children arc recruited 
for certain tasks, A small area of Lind will support a family/ bur virtually 
all the labor rime of iht family is required to support Etsdf, There b 
link or no surplus, Jr is not possible for j portion of the population to 
produce enough food for all. Consequently* it b nor possible to divorce 
a pnrtion of the population from agriculture and to occupy them with 
arts and crufts as vocations There is, therefore, very little division of 
fubor, little specialization 0/ occupation, and virtually no class sionliea- 
don among the tfugan or the Euntnc Igorut* There are no large political 
units* there is no state, 

tn Luzon, then* wc find an intensive agriculture but a rebtivclv' low 
degree of development of social organization, for the simple reason that 
the caloric return per man-hour is low. 

In ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, however, the situation was dif¬ 
ferent. In ihtjic regions* as in Luzon* the amount of food produced per 
square mile was very large as compared with wild-food systems. But the 
calorie return per man-hour was large also. Consequently k it was possible 
for a portion of the population to produce cnougEi food for all- A con¬ 
siderable portion of die population cots Id therefore be drawn off die 
farms and put to work in jrn and crafts m special occupational group. 
And eventually society liecame divided into such clashes m rulers, nobles, 
priesfc, scribes, craftsmen, serfs, and slava. A large number of people 
were organized within 3 single political system, the state or nation, Thus 
we sec rhat it i$ not merely and dimply the practice of agriculture ilist 
b tigruficant, ft h the ratio between calorics and bliot lime uj well os 
amount of food per acre that counts. 

If may well he true tfiat a population, human or nonhuman, tend* to 

* The prui-ince af the rfygao had m ir» af aljoux 7*0 square mile* of which nut 
enure iluq, ^ were cidm-ntcd- Cf, A. L. ICtoeber, ’F^oplci ef the Philippines/ 
4m*rinn Mustutn of Narurjl library H*ndte*h «» p ipt* A portion, bur 
wnJy in inijpjlituit pcrccnugc, el their mbimetcc h derived friun bntm^ and 
Ejy |aibcrmg wild plant forth Birron wmaTU fhir fifdy u-t ptr cuw of the Tab- 
UKeiwe of ibe Ifugao fa dented £rf»n wild icrnrta u compared with ^4 pot cent 
africiibure^ 4.3 per tent from animal cuSnjre, acid J-f p« cent imm impim, 
ft F. Ifugjo Exonornki/ UtTrverjitj &f Cstifomij Fttblumiam m Amirtem 

Atcb^obscy jdJ Eibrwfaxy, mb a, no. 5, p. 19S, 

*Oi tr.; fiitulici included hi j censui made by R, F. Barron, only =0 hrid t acra 
1jJ piiht, if') held Ikiwitu ( md 1 m and held Ira [tun i tefe each. Barton, op. fit, 

V- +u- 


jncreaw in (he limits of its food supply, hut this increase docs not always 
take place in human communities by my me jus; There are other factor* 
Ixrsidcs food supply that are significant for population inert a se. Some 
primitive peoples may find it necessary to spend almost alt their nme 
exploiting the resources of nature and processing materials for corbiUbp- 
tj«i, hut certainly many tribes do not, I£vco in aboriginal Aififfriia. where 
ruiutat resources arc not generally abundant and technologies are simple 
and crude, the natives had a greji amount of leisure rime for ceremonies 
and social intercourse, Indian tribes of British Columbia produced great 
quantities of foud and other goods, only to destroy them in ccremnnis. 
Many purawl and horticultural peoples are able to produce enough 
to meet their needs in only a portion of their time. The KnOm*, for 
example, a manioc-growing trihe of Brazil, were quite able m produce 
two or three times os timdi food as they were actually producing, «c- 
cording to Carndro, who made careful measurements anil calculations 

of their mode of subsistence,* . 

In the cave of the Kuikuru, and other similarly situated tribes. It seems 
clear rhar, so far as subsistence is concerned, the population could have 
doubled or tripled and that all the social consequences of such increase- 
the separation of a portion of the population from food getting, t ic or 
tmtum of occupational groups of specialized amain*, ami the t ivtuon 
of society into dominant and subordinate cUsse*—could have taken p ace 
Tinr the sociocultural system of the Kuikuru was not moving in this di¬ 
rection, Enough food to meet needs was produced ill a fraction ™ . 
working time, and then production ceased. The population was not in¬ 
creasing. An equilibrium had. apparently, been cSt ubHu hcd. and it w» 
maintained Situations of this kind raise two important questions,* 
(t) “Why does not ijic population increase?’' and (i) “What will cause a 
people to produce more food than they need? 1 ' 

Uo fortunately, we do nor have a satis factory" answer 10 the hrst quei- 
non, Greumstanccs affecting fecundity and reproduction, cmlnnic *» 
other diseases, and doubtless other factors affect the relationship between 

birth rate and death rate. , 

With regard to the second question, it would seem that some 
coercion is necessary to cause or induce a people to produce more i ^ 
it needs This cocrrinn may be supplied by the conquest ol one people j 
another, e,g„ some European powers have increased production in l 
colonics by imposing a head, nr a hur, tax upon the natives. But cocrci 
may arise within an evolving sociocultural system itself. Coercionito 
increase production characterized the Agricultural Revolution. It 

■Hulrtir Camriro, Suhbttvcr Social Structure An Ecological Sodj o fj** 
Kuilvrv tmiuni, i docmral dbstrtmun, Unirenirv of Michigan, iyj7; ™ 
daily. pp. ijli. 141. irB-fJO* «*-*>}• 


derived from both of ihcsc sources, extra- and intra-wdetit The applics- 
doft of force by one people upon another k a fairly obvious operation attd 
itipLrc$ but little explanation. Tilt gctlciis of coercion within a mdo- 
cultural system is much less obvious and requires considerable elucida¬ 

We may assume that in such regions as the Nik Villey and Mesopotamia* 
where civil society first appeared, the fullowing situation obtained and 
thh !*quvucc of events cook place; (i) Agriculture and animal husbandry 
made possible increased fond production both [sr) per acre and (b) per 
Emm-hour. {2) Pressure of population increase brought about increased 
food production, which in rum tended toward further growth of popula¬ 
tion* (j) The productivity of Labor, U-, amount of food per man-hour, 
increased as the agricultural am and those of animal husbandry were 
developed. (4) A$ the density of population increased* society' became 
sjfucmnilly diffemiriated and functionally specialized; Lc.. a portion of 
the productive members of society were divorced from food getting and 
their time and labor were devoted to various arts and colts, thus form¬ 
ing occupiioftal groups—weavers, porters* metal, stone, and leather 
workers, carpenters, and so on, (5) This development made a change of 
economic system necessary, (6) Concomitantly with the growth of pop- 
ulsrion in size and density, and concomitantly with the structural dir- 
fcrennaiioti and functional spcciolizidon of society, there was developed 
a speck! polis tc j| medunism, the state -church, which coordinated the 
various purs and functions, integrated them itiro- a coherent w link which 
it regulated and controlled. It was this that provided the coercion neces- 
Sin- to cait^r a class of f«x>d producers to produce more than they needed 
ur could consumer. (7) The fault was a divisor! of society into a dom- 
mnf5t . ruling cln-y; and a subordinate class. And hand in hand with the 
development of inrstttpdtms of civil society, there was breakdow n of 
tribj MKitni. But lei to describe this transformation j link more fully. 

Phe advene of agriculture and animal husbandry wus followed by an 
kcmif* in population in some regions* if not in mhen* In the Nile Valley* 
Mesopotamia the river valleys of India and China, and, in the New 
Murid, in Medea, Central America* and the Andean Highlands, the 
ynmili of agriculture and of papulation proceeded hand in hand; binh 
mc * efid exceed death rates, for whatever reasons. As the productivity 
°* biuuan Libor in agriculture increased, it liccamc possible for a portion 
!a * the population to produce enough for all p and this portion decreased 
* ^ prodoctivify ot bbor increased. Conceivably* one of the consc¬ 
iences of 3 his could kive been each f.tmilv. or each household* 
a cmlJ divide its time between the field* And livestock, nn the one IcmJ, 

'^d tictoiif arts and crafts, on the other, Bui this would eventually have 


bKvmc practically impossible, and «wry*hert it would have Ittcn so- 
chllv t£tcfuS. As rhr various am and crafts developed, it would have 
Income impossible for each household to become a workshop for te*de 
and ceramic Sntfiwtores. , tit ralworking, bnckmaking, 

ZKStSm **«*<* f " r d “' - 4 rs?2£ 

m2 and for reasons of social economy, me woous *«* ^ 

becatne specialized industries. In such a way, society became MtttO- 
SSTaE occupational lint, into Weavers, spinners dyer,, wood-* 
leather-, and metalworkers, masons. baker*, hrtft'ei*, and so <m 
A new principle of social organization was tints iitrodnccd; occup- 
riil. And as iWs new principle was trended, 

receded. Then was, to be sure, a tendency for guilds of specialized ** 
dans to become hereditary. afld to tfa* extern to retain kinship s ™ 
element of organization, Bur kinship was subordinated to ' jCCU P« 5 ® n ^ 
was, moreover, confined within the limns of the guild, so that kmsJup 
u a basis of society’s organization was diminished in magnitu e a 

subordinated in importance. . ltlon . 

Quite apart from coercion, the agriculturalists w ould produce n ote 

food than they needed after the format.on of gudds nt «**«*» 
thev could obtain manufactured goods in exchange for fond. SooiO, 
political, coercion CUTK hter. and we shall deal warh it shortly. 

1 The division of society into occupational groups required p - 
(janiformaritHi of economic system In tribal society, as we base 
aoods were exchanged, durcdl and consumed in accordance wt h 
rights and obligztiom of kinship tic*. Hut m the new society * 1 ' 
no longer possible. The metalworker, potter. Or weaver could no 
tain food from his kinsmen since they would tend to be members • _ 

own guild. Anti the various occupational groups were D« 
other' bv kinship tics; they were interrelated in terms of c° ^ 
specialized functions. Obviously, a new kind of system of exchange _ 
distribution of goods had to be devised to meet ilu® stiuaoon- . ■ 
of economic system in which human rights and human we ,irc 1 _f 
cedence over property rights anil which had prevailed in P r,,rt ^ uc . ’ 
for ages had become oljsnlctc, The new economic system * 
dinate human welfare to property rights. 

There arc two kinds of tnuasocictal economic system* m u ■ 
lad unships between persons art functions of relationship between y • ~ 
Jkuh were brought into being by the Agricultural Revolution. 

■ Mam- primitive people*, ot native populations. hi'e inciTttvtd th*r 
when they had i cliinee-w the Kiukuru did nw—to «U |f ^ ^ 

buy miitiificturtd in mhaogc Thi* ii * fa™ d ^ 

CGCTZiVn. ^ # rribll VX^° 

p |f will k reaMcd iM CMflimEfflil csdmngc took plat* ’ 


one, rhc economic process k dominated mid controlled by the political 
process, i.Ch. hy the government. Production and dLitri button are Ttg- 
ubted by rhe government and arc carried on in terms of class and status. 
Mediums of exchange and markets arc absent in tills bind of system. In 
the ocher type of economic system, the economic process is allowed to 
ftrnodtHi freely as an economic process; Le. p production and exchange of 
goods arc carried on in terms of their economic values, w ith only enough 
guttmmcritt] supervision to see that certain ruki, e g,, those pertaining 
to arc observed, Mediums of exchange and markets* agreements 

and contracts, characterise this kind id economic system. 

There arc no generally agreed upon mime* for these two Idndv nf 
economic system. The system which allows great freedom for the cco- 
nOTnic process as such may well he culled eoimucrdal. The govern- 
menially controlled system has been called socwlimc: eg., the state- 
comm lied economic systems of the ancient Incas* 11 of Germany under 
Hitler, and of the UiiSH. hare been designated sociiiHsin, and Trends 
in tills direction in the United States have been so brands & These sys¬ 
tems would not exemplify the conception of socialism held by Marx and 
F-ngch N however* in their socialise system, ihe srarc, which k regarded 
nhvays as an instrument of class rule and oppression, will be noncxistcnr 
—ic will have “w ithered away*' or have lw:cn M d^mantlcd b by the tri- 
umphanr working class. And there are other objections to the term 
socialistic, We shill therefore simply refer 10 this land of system is 

The Incas of Pern provide us with a good example of the state-con- 
trtdlcd type of economy; the Agrees rjf Mexico-, with the commercial 
ry-pc. 1 " Both of these societies were organised along occupatioiui lines, 
1,1f * was divided into a dominant cLiss and a subordinate ck^, In 
Inca culture, production .md distribution v. ere regulated by ihe govern- 
meut; goods Were assigned hy Jaw to various classes and groups. In Mex¬ 
ico. on the or her band, there were market* and currency, anti exchange 
of goods took place freely in terms nf their respective value*. 11 ■ 

prwr iq ijtc Agricultural RtvoUitHJO; hut ttftMl sorid *yitnni Cutset! upetft kinship 
r 'HJv the ocgnomic s\itmi titai juliurdiiuicJ rckiumFtjpj btiwMfl tjtnxti to rcl#- 
t * CmB * , lp* between ptraim prevailed 

l- hiuclin, "L’Emptf twialbrc dci fnlta*" Trxz&tue rf de FftssdtUt 

V ol ^ ,^,8; we Mo Georg* p H Murdock, Chr Frtnritk* Cont™pe>r*riri n 

^14- Pp 410-4^1. 

Ihe rader who it not familijr wiih the culrmri c?f rhw pcnplti wilt find 
CKtllqa Jsl j dacrtpmms of thrm in ’Vlurdock, er 1 » well a descriptlet 
t of mmly rrfiitr tulflUH. 

Thh qudjfieti somewhit bp sumpfu^r)' tiui which pmxnrrd [ifflOfti of 
f-xnain clji^ irxmi buying- or using- (proh n« proper to their scaaon in life, Bui 

^^praaiy frwi nuv fimcikui in feudal indttici u well u in commercklly organized 


Whv the Agricultural Revolution produced 3 state controlled *ySU* 
In one etdlUM, or country, and 4 commercial system in another is a ga¬ 
llon for which we have no adequate answer. No dud* many; iiam «t 
operative here, none of which can he singled out as the mdepenJait 
variable. The factor of integration appears to be very significant, hint* 
ever If the transition from primitive to Civil society Takes place m a 
well-ordered, coherent fashion, then the chances of state control seem to 
be pood If however, there is considerable dismpmziinon in the pmcest. 
tho possihaides of freedom for basins enterprise would seem to he im¬ 
proved This is a subject that requires farther 
But borh kinds of economic systems produced by the A gn cultural 
Revolution arc not only different from that which obtained in primitive 
society, they are its op^re: soda! relationship between persons become 
functions of economic relationships between goods. 

The development of industries and the formation of gdlils were fd- 
lowetl bv stilt other consequences rhat tended to break down the old 
kinship and tribal organization. With the exception, primp, of some 
feudal systems, commerce developed as a consequence of the grown 
of industries. Merchant would leave their homes and g« abroad to man¬ 
age their affairs. Skilled craftsmen occasionally went abroad, mo, to 
find improved opportunities for the practice of their trade* m llus W4 >' 
numbers, of the inbe would become dispersed—the kinship organiranM 
would !«: weakened bv geographic separation, Each nation would «iu* 
(O harbor merchants and craftsmen from other nations, and thoe penp^ 
being foreigners, would have go stunts in the tribal organic 1 inn w _ 
they resided, even though they were ptforming significant lunctw ■ 
In the community. About loot) U.C, many Greeks went abroad * 5 n ’ 
chants and craftsmen, and similar classes of persons came to Greece. ^ 
a time these foreigners were so numerous in Athens that they L ’°"' tl|U . 
a political problem: they were residents in tlvt city; they carnei 
noriant social am! economic furictimis; yet, being foreigners an u_ _ 

nnr members of the Greek clans, they hud no political rights. In this *• 
commerce and itinerant craftsmen tended to break down the aid 1 . r 
organization: tribesmen and clansmen were ticing transform* 


As the kinship organization gave way under the impact 1,1 ‘be ^ 
itig agricultural technology, there was a tendency for Itimhip 3™°!“^ 
to be replaced by territorial groupings as a basis of political nrgamw ■ ^ 
When genealogical ties, known or assumed, could no !ong* r , L , f 
serve as the means and basis of social organization, some other P n . 
bad to take their place. This principle was the definite, expU u 


Atoudd one of locality or area, We dull describe the temtorlij or- 
gflflicfttion of civil society in our next ciupici- 

Public works and community function* were important factors in the 
transit ion from tribal society m civil society. Even in some primitive 
tribes such as the Kenesjn Pueblos of the Rio Grande Valiev in New 
Mexico, there are public worts and aammiinity functions. 1 * There whs 
a pricer-chief who was tile head of rhe tribe, or community, His house- 
hold (tad elj he supplied with wood* There was a community luwe in 
which the tribal council held rts meetings. Hut even more important, in 
this respect, there was a community irrigation system* A* culture evolved 
under the impetus of a developing agriculture, public works multiplied 
and grew in magnitude and special community functions increased in 
number and importance, blouses muse be provided and maintained for 
administrators. Temples have to be provided and maintained for priest- 
hoods. These public works and communal CEUerpraes have to lie sup¬ 
ported by tuxes or levies upon the people* and these operations require 
special personnel to administer them* If there is irri^atiuit—and it ij 
significant to note that this has been an important factor in the rise of 
civilizations in both the New and Old Worlds—.111 administrative bodv, 
dotfied with great authority, must be in charge- Wc are moving toward, 
a political state and away from clan and tribal chiefs, 

Speeial community functions and the lodging of power in the \nmh 
0 / a feu arise in another quarter alio, namely, military dcS"cM.*-c and of- 
fcEise. As agriculture developed and indutfrict nourished, wealth ac~ 
cmnulaced, and this incited nations to attaci one another* Bi As property 
increases," observed Tvlur, “'there with it warfare carried on as 

d business, 1 ’ 15 Given the finite areas of rich river valleys and oilier arable 
lands, ft became- noE only profitable to wage war hut necessary U* Jo -an 
tf a nation were tu hold its own in ime marine I competition and rivalry. 

In many primitive tribes every man u'ax, or could be, a warrior, bit 
even nn these level? of development spedifixatmn begin* ru appear: the 
^pi, fnr example, constituted a special class itf warriors among the 
Kemari Puddos. With the growth of hrge and *kttse papulations during 

Agricultural Revolution, profe^ionid armies Were developed. War¬ 
fare requires the coractmrurinn of virtually absolute power in the bands 
n f a very few. The conduct of a war results nor only in flic conquest of 
4 foreign persple, but irt the subordination of the common people at home, 
ttho must yield to their military leaders in the interest* of a common 
defense* The spoils of war are distributed among the principal w r tr cap 

u Cf„ far example, L«lie A White, “The Pu^lo of Sarin Aru* New Mfsko," 
/rmttutjf Ambrapal&x§etl Armckricm Wer npir to. 

E- B, Tylor, Amkrcpalo^t tftfr, p^ n$. 


Wins and civil administrator*. The common people in the defeated &nm- 
try ore subjugated, while those at home are *tox&a#xd « imhwy nA 
civil authority. Thus a wedge is driven deep into society, dividing it into 
a group Wielding almost absolute power—a ruling class—and the great 
JL 0 f common people whose function it is to provide the necessity 

of peace as well as the sinews of war. 

the multiplication and growth of public works and the eitcmiori tit 
community enterprises and funcdon^especially irrigation and warfare- 
a , q concomitant and a consequence of the development of ignCalmre 
and animal husbandry, and the necessity of imposing raxes nr other levies 
upon the masses of the population in order to support nnd maintain these 
public works and enterprises, led to the division oi society into a hi mg 
class, in whose hands great power was Judged, and the mass of common 
people who were subordinated politically and economically to the ad- 
banLrarion of the dominant da». Hw old order of tribal society breaks 
down and gives way before the advance of civil society and the emer- 
genre of the political scatc- 

Thc accumttbiion of wealth pSaycd 3 rok in jnoihcr r^pt'et, a ^ sn 
the a^nsformatjon of tribal society irtto civil society- In primitive trxiet^* 
os we have seefl, wealth was shiircti during life and inherited \ 

tiasmen after death. Bui in higher culture* where wealth b more shun- 
dflnt. and where ckfls or other kinship groups are larger and mvl \ca 
stifiAuirv, the kau of exogamy wcuken \nd firs ally give way in or . 4 e£ 
10 keep property within a lineage nr chin- Morgan noicd that she auejeru 
Atljcnkns modified rheir laws of exogamy to permit a man to marry » 
wealthy woman of lib own dan so that her property might be J*ep 
w ithin the clan: “Solun enacted that the heiress should mam her nwresr 
male agnate, although they belonged to the same gens [dan |. and 
riage tKtwcrn ihem bad previously been prohibited by usage. , . 
Moses, too, ruled in the case of die daughters of Zelophehud. mac 11=. 
should not maiTV outside their kin group for rhe same reason; ' - Un | 
to the family of the tribe of their father diall they many,’' Moses decreed 
"So shall not the Inheritance of die children of Israel remove from tn_ 
to tribe: for every one of the children of Israel shall tocp himself to i 
inheritance of the tribe of his fathers,' 1 ’■ ‘in 

Wealth accumulared unevenly in society as kinship groups 
size and diminished in solidarity. Families with greater wealth becar 
increasing I v disinclined to share it through Inheritance with lir ,cr ‘ ,n * - 
lines of lesser wealth. Consequently, the rules of inheritance _ 
chanced and with this change the ancient cbsaficstoiy s y stein 0 

" 1 cuis H, Morgan. -hm-fu Svcieiy, uf'7, pp 

10 Nmn, jfcj-tK Quoted by Morgan. pp. t+6-J47. 


Idomhip, which made every member of your rnbe a dose relative. be- 
eaoie obsolete md was supplanted by the descriptive sv r 5 ien> of nomen- 
dirnre. 1 ® 

We have noted rJ^ifct two different trind* of rociaJ processes may be 
imi lied in flic rriiisforPLirion of tribal sod cry fntu civil society: a 
forcible, military process itnd a peaceful, cconomic^-prinuHly Eiioucfjuy 
—process And vve have already described the way in which rbe inifiiarv 
proems functions and have noted tHc consequences of its operation; con* 
ventrarion of power in flic hands of a few and the subordination or sub* 
jngation of rhe many. We now wish to indicate briefly liow the peaceful, 
monetary process tends dso to divide society jure two classes: the rich 
and the poor* We shall describe the operation of this process more fully 
tn Chapter 14, “Economic Structure of Higher Cultures,” 

In a society in wliich rotations between persons are subordinate tn re- 
btions between economic goods, die status of persons will be determined 
by the interaction of these economic entities. In a free, ccanmereial, mon¬ 
etary economy f goods and money will circulate freely, exchanging with 
One another in terms of their rtspecmv values. Thb process h a coni’ 
pedtive one, and in such a process rhe weak succumb to the strong. The 
big merchant can eliminate the little one* But the most significant ex¬ 
pression of this process with reference to social itmerure is, rhe practice 
uf muncylending, Inequality of wealth cjccur everywhere in human 
KiCtc Vi- They are produced by differences of health, ability* initiative, 
^gaciry, and by ditTeraice* in circumstances, such as accident or mlv 
fontme. In primitive societies, however, these inequalities tend to be 
rectified by the obligation to shire wealth w ith one’s kinsmen, be., tribes- 
and to assist them when rhey fire overtaken by misfortune fn an 
inmsocictal, commercial, and monetary system* on the other hind, these 
^qualities arc accentuated: the poor become poorer; the rich* richer. 
This k how ir w orks, 

A person or a family group finds itself, for one reason or another, 
jiTuhtero maintain itsdf economically. They ejo, therefore, to die muney- 
caidcr for help. The kinder demands security and exacts interest, usually 
,r ■' r -^e. Tlie circumstances w hich made i[ necessary for the un/or- 

juu^rc one ro borrow- may well make it impossible for him to repay the 
or even to meet intc j c-r payments a.5 they fall due. Ik thus sinks 
ceper into debt* and in some cultures lie niu^t become an indentured 
*f 3VJ3lt cr a slave, or sell hh children into slavery, before lie is done with 
1 Thus rite free circulation of money in * competitive* com- 

■ntfcul economy tends naturally and inevitably ro divide society into 

VJor P°' 1 dirals. wtucb he argue* forcefully in Afitirm Stiday, cjpe- 
F “ Pin + "The Growth of the Idea of Property;* 


the rich and powerful and ihc pm and weak. Ir gn« without saym* 
of course, that such a system must have die endorse mem of the pen cm, 
mem and he enforced, in the last amdys*. b y physical force. But a s^.o- 
cutturai system that has made money lending posable almost always pro¬ 
vides adequate safeguards to the lender. 

We mav now review the step* in the transition from primitive society 
10 civil society and try to envision ir us a whole. Populations increased in 
,„c and density- as a consequence of increase m food production. Sheer 
increase in s« of group put a heavy strain on the kinship organization, 
md mnRUilv it tended tu fall span <rf its Own 

The productivity of human labor increased as the signed rural am 
advanced. This requited in removing a progressively larger portion o 
the poptdfliion from food raising and in ofgaiii/ing them into guil a o 
specialized artisans or occupying them with political cccleswitical or 
milirarv functions, This required the abandonment of the t»]d ectmorr 
syvtcni of mutual aid among kindred and the adoption of a feudal or a 
commercial system, depending upon which emphasis was uppermost * 
the transition, the military or the monetary process. CamnmtuJ teuu« 
of property oave wav to private ownership. Inheritance laws were rtv:w 
to exclude all hut ignatic relatives, and this brought about a vhirt Ira 
Tlw tduMfieatoiT ‘•ytMUl of kinship to the dcscnpcive system. I he free 
circulation of commodities and money resulted in the division of 
into debtors and creditors, and eventually into rich and poor. 

Warfare also was a powerful and effective means of political trails nr- 
mation. The equality' democracy of tribe nod dan were 
by the exigencies (if large-scale military competition for aecumii o 
wealth and "natural resources, and society was divided into a jnilnary 
civil ruling class and a subordinate class. , 

The mulripljcannrt and growth of public works and community cut 
prises contributed further to the development of civil society. I h e 7 “ 
miired a special administrative personnel, which of necessity a 10 
clothed with power and which had ro be supported by tl * t * (,r | ,[ 
levies. Here again, a cleavage was brought about within society: 3 “™ * 
1str:itivr functions backed by power, on the one hand, and 11 ^ulior on 
class that supplies labor and goods, on the other. 

Maintenance of integrity » essential to any system, soaociilrura 
otherwise. If tfie new type of civil society that was being produce*. ' 
the develop!nu technologies of agricutiure anil animal husbandry * 
io be able to maintain and perpetuate itself, it would have to achieve * 
maintain imesritv, and ibis would mean doing three things, v. _ _ 
ordinatinv, correlating, and integrating the various parts fl! ™ 11 
of which the new sociocultural system was composed, namely, die ™ ri 


public worts and community enterprise* such as irrigation communal 
piEces, temples trsirtspomrion, public markets, systems of currency, and 
50 ob t coordinating and iiircgrafmg' the viriou- social srnicrurics zlrii aim* 
priic the System -is j. vrbole, namely* tiu' occupational groups^mdustml, 
ecdcsiaaiicaJ T and military- (a) It would have to reconcile rhe two basic 
classes of society, rise dominant, ruling da*? and the subordinate 
whose interests were nor only different but opposite and conflicting at 
roany potsns, and prevent ihe subordinate class from disrupting society 
and reducing it to anarchy and dmr* through insurrection and civil war. 
And finally {3) ir must maintain its autonomy and independence by 
succc&fid military operations of offence and defense with reference 10 
isi rwighbons- To accomplish all this. The new society would Iulv c to have 
a special mechanism, a special political device, for coordination, iiucen- 
rmn t regulation, and control. Such a special mechanism was developed. 
We shall call it the static bur eh* 

Tlx adwiarion here is precisely comparable 10 that obtaining in biolog- 
iedevDlutintii as living organisms have evolved—at least among the phyla 
that have become nmnimols—ihcy have become more and more differ¬ 
entiated structurally and more spoekttfced functionally. Differentiation 
snd specialization, on the one hand, require coordination, inicgrutifiti, 
jud control, on the other. The coordirmtave, integrative, and regulative 
mechanism deve loped m phyla leading to mamm-tis was the crntral 


nus system* \\ rJie brain and central nervous ^vwtem arc to biological 
evolution, the *Utc church i. r i to ttociocnhural evolution. 

The instirotiuiLs of primitive society broke down and gave way be¬ 
cause they could nor contain and accomtmxlate the new technological 
forces iuEftwjuccd by rhe cultivation of plants and the domebticarinn nf 
^funEaL Kinship organization was not only adequate bur ideal for sneio- 
cultural systems activated solely by human energy' p and even for systems 
in which agriculture and animal husbandry were but little developed. 
Bui when these arts acquired considerable stature and magnitude, they 
exerted iuch pressures tifion the sociopolitical system that cvcnnully it 
couJJ no lunger withstand therm New institutions were constructed, Of 
developed, ils the old were broken down and cast aside. Apropos of the 
belief, field in certain quarrers, that social revolution* are brought about 
v agitations of revolutionists. qor study of the Agricultural Revolution 
would seem cq offer much support for the following generalize dam: 

* mmrurion or sociopolitical system will give wav and become aban- 
uned as long as it is aide to perform effect!vely a vital function; no new 
*** of instirntions, no new sociopolitical system, can be brought into 
being until technological cunditjuju make it possible and until f octal con- 
j ***** It In short a sociocultural revolution cannot take place 

Jc '° rc l[s time^ but uheu its time Joes come, it will rake place. This if 


merely the application of tire principles of cause ^ effect "J 
rcnitimvm ro sociocultural phenomena as the)- arc applicable to phweaf 
chemical, or meteorological phenomena. It will not rain unless ami until 
terrain meteorological “factors ami process present ed operative 
in a certain manner; when these factors and processes are m certam con- 
junction! it will rain (i.c., “precipitation b inevitable ). Rn jJ^ K _““J 
be added rhat the same forces and proems that destroy the old construct 
the new These generalizations concerning revolutionary tdiange 
art- as valid and as applicable to the world situation today as rhey me 

to the Agricultural Revolution, . , . 

As we*have indicated repeatedly, the rransformam.n nf so- 
dm- into civil society was not instantaneous; there were transition 
stages. This fact will help to clarify an issue tliar luis been much confused 
in American ethnological theory. Morgan argued that die to™™ 
of primitive society were democratic, that they were incumpan i c wi 
monarchy.'* Critics of Morgan have retorted by pointing to sociocultural 
systems in Negro Africa that have both clans and a b ngi stl u,lll r 
done Ui» diey imagined they had dealt evolutionist theory 3 
blow,* 0 Bui nodiSnp could be farther from the foer, MorgBtt * 
(primitive society) ifld civitas (civil society) are logically dwtinct. am 
mutually exclusive categories, just as n'piik and matttrttai are. Hut ti«r 
may be' rransirmml stages between primitive and civil society, put V 
there may lie tntnsittonal stages between reptile and mammal And Were 
traii^iriiiTul <>tjige* du not in &sw sense render dust logical categories , 
distinctions invalid. A nwnocrcnre is an animal that, in the course ol w- 
njcKfic^l evdoifoD, required the minimal tan faculty of suckling r c > 01 \ 'f 
while ai the same time ic has re tamed the old reptilian faculty of l J > air ^ 
eggs. In the same way. some nf the Negro nations of Africa have a^iureu. 
in W course of sociocultural evolution, sume of the instimtirms ol 
society, such os a king, while at die same rime they have re mine wm 
of the institutions of primitive society. such as clan organization, r 
from constituting a refutation of cultural evolutionist theory, these itu 
systems arc made intelligible only in terms nf it, ire., as transin *. 

*»Sce> for example, Trewis H. Morgan, ■‘Montezuma"* Dituwr," Nohk Anttw* 
Rpirj, vol. m. 187H. »* well « Ancient Society. 

'Ste, for example. R II. l.owte, primitive Satiety, igio, pp. J 

of Mergin'! rhftitctcuizjirtoni u ^palpable fionsenst.* 


The concept of ibf stfilc-cljiiTch, Civil societies ire diurjctcnzcd by 3 
number of diverse parts gnd specialized functions, on the one hand, and 
1 special mechanism of coordination, i ntegrati nn, and control, on the 
other. This special mechanism should hove a name, and we have decided 
10 tail it tJie We do this because this mechanism always has 

Iwih a secular and civil aspect and an ecclcsasricaj aspect; itate and 
ebuteb properly designate aspects of this coordmativc, integrative mccli- 
mthm rather than separate entities, Unless we coin a new term we must 
rrly upon usage, and state-church seems to be the most suitable term 
tliat usage affords. 

The sttuadon here has a dose parallel in physical theory. Fur a very 
hmg time it was thought that rime and space were separate entities. With 
tiie development of the theory of relativity, time and space were recog- 
niicd, nor as entities, but as aspects of something for which there was, 
and still no better designation than space-time. Similarly, sate and 
church have long been regarded as separate era dries. With the development 
of culmrological theory, however, it k now plain that they are hut aspects 
cd something for which uc have no better term dun sjats-church, The 
special cuordmaiivc, integrative mechanism of political control in civil 
weierics [s everywhere marked by 3 civil, political, and iniliijry aspect, tm 
™ one hand, and an ecclesiastical, clerical, and theological aspect* on 
the otjieiv 1 

Stare and church may be one structurally, as they were in many cul¬ 
tures of the Bronze Age; or they may be structurally quite distinct, a* 
J^V are in the United States today; or they may over Lip in varying dc- 

k ■ bicentring i L > mu* tlat ihe 4iiaJ dumeur uf Ukt nwchjcimi tif imeyTOtm 
***M \n wn wetety is Explicitly rceocpufccd by the RtJmxri Catholic Cliureht 
. jaj ^vided rhe gorcminerit ui the hitman race fcwmeen rwo aurhnnrio. w- 
^aiasncij osd dvEI, saablnhing one over iliing* divine, the other over things hu- 
* ’ Quoted from in encyclical of Leo X1U bv Pius XI in the liutrt me vdied 

u* 1 the Chrinian EdKcahcm of Youth," York Tif^s Current History, rol ju 


™ Originally. i*H with the advent of civil society, thy dmrch and 
were W. as Herbert Spenrer mttttdy observed many JW 

3g uj’ **w« writes Radcltffe-Brown, “it is often hardly possible to 
Jmre «S iS Pl-cd ^ce from rind or«*«■ 
Tim in some African societies it may be said that the king iy *e exec- 
urivt herd, the legislator, the supreme judge, flic commander-imehicf 
nfrhtimtv the chief priest or supreme ritual head, and even perhaps 
the prindpd'capitalist [5c] of tt,c whole community. Hut it * ««£" 
to thiid of him as combining in himself a number ■> separate and distma 
3£rTh«H a single office, that of king, and its lift*. ***** 
activities. and its rights, prerogative, and privileges, make up a single 

llT 1 Amtn^ h |he Keresati Pueblos, the cacique Is the head of a 
ganizattort that is both sacred ami secular; he is a pnest os well » a duri 
/Long the Natchez of the Gulf Coast, the head of the »<*£««* 
system was both king and god. In Mexico at the time of Cortex the reto 
was distinguished from the priesthoods, but the lulcr was no doub con¬ 
sidered divine. In ancient Peru, the head of the state and the head «f h‘ 
church were brothers, (it uncle ami nephew; and the fanner was g - 
or descended from the sun god. in Egypt, the pharaoh, was for 
cod. priest, and king, at least in theory. In practice, tlw pbrnnh had j 
necessity to delegate the worship of ihc gods to prints, who 
thereby' so much autonomy as virtually to constitute a church stnic- 

turallv distinct from state, 

In 'the early urban cultures of Mesopotamia. 1 pncstly and »c_ 
functions no doubt rested m one and the same pej'sem. n 
Sumer, "church and state were so bound together that those c ^ 

authority formed a theocracy, functioning on the -me hand wIili , 

and on the other secularly." * The kings of Assyria 
and they “retain their priestly functions through all period-, of™ * 
dom." ® ‘'Oiurcli and State are one its India." In Greece d ui% _ 
Iron Aee tlte king was also a priest. Many pagan ruling it _ 
Scandinavia reckoned their descent from Nordic denies, even 

■■'...Originally Oiiirrft and Start are mtdiningubheJ-" ^^jKlsS? 

ciptt, of Sdbiim vol. 3p p, «*f. •" * <*ap«« ^ FultrT id 

*A. R. Rsildiife-Boiwni Preface to African Fwitv*i Sfttmt, M< 

IL F- Lvui^.Pritdiard: fedih Oxford Uni«rm> Prea, London. p (y ^ 

‘Mo mi Jistrow, T*r Chiltjaim of Bafrylenii a«d AttyrU* l- ®- btpF 

nam. Philadelphia, iflij, p-1?*- _ _ , ,:|| Coof 

' Ralph Turner, Tbt Gtcjk Cnfairaf TrutUttotii, ™ 1 . I. McGm* -l till 
jiany, lire. New York, iqji, p, 1*7. 

‘jjsrrnw, op. p. 4 *&. fontmUe * 4 *- _ 1 j r 1 ^ 

"A. M- tf f K vtT . Cm*i A Cotnpjfjttvt Study, Methuen A Co, Ltd.. 1 

P- * 7 ' 


modern Japanese rracc their Emperor to divine ancestry, Caesar ^ 
Ponriies Maximus as well :is cm|>eror in uupcrint Rouse; Augustus 
likewise served as the head of the state religion. 

The state aspect of lKc mechanism of integration anj control of civil 
societies i% perhaps, more apparent, ur obtrusive; today than the church 
aspect But there iff ere dines during the Middle Age> when the church 
vri the more prominent, Also, there is .1 tendency on die pn of many 
people ns ihink of the church as a "religious" insriiiitfcn only. If. for 
ctamp k, rune consults the Encyclopaedia $f the Sticiat for an 

iiftkl? an "Chutth," he is requested t « *W Rdigi'mv Institutions." The 
church ts indeed a religious institution from the srandpmm of the indi¬ 
vidual human psyche. Bus from the standpoint of sodocukurai systems 
st wuuU be more proper tn call it 3 political institution. In some civil 
stekria there is no organized priesthood or special ecclesiastical stTOC- 
isite. This ton, might tend to obscure the ecclesiastical component of 
die srasemhureh- It should be remembered, however, that state and 
diurrh, as we are using these rcrm\ do not necessarily label discrete 
entities, hut rather aspect r of rhe mechanism by w hich civil societies 
are integrated. rcguliitcd, and controlled; they are the names of rwn 
categories of factors, or components, that comprise the mcduimsm of 
integration and Control in ils totality- We have already noted the fusion 
■if she secular and the ecclesiastical in some systems, hui if will be pratl ta¬ 
ble to COfmicfcr their reiitionikip in sonic detail in two great nonAVtsrem 
«tlFurc4 H namely, hlm% and China. 

Tte &fjte*church in hlsm . Islam has on priesthood. There are men w ho 
devote themselves to theology, but they are merely learned men, not 
priest The men who conduct religious services at the mosques ire fay* 
uitn No human being can invoke divine punishment upon another, nor 
£ ratu I™ divine mercy or salvation* But this does not mean that re- 
ligious tfemenui were lacking bi the institutional means with which w- 
ricry under Liam was integrated* regulated* and controlled. They were, 
vn me c«oifury f numerous and powerful, 

Cliiireh and state were fused in the person of the caliph in Ltam. 
dlbh created "the office of sovereign and demands obedience to all of 
1 it biter * commands that do not conflict with Muslim bw " * "Histon- 
y?' ^ Caliphs ane the successor* of Atuhimnwd in the rule of the 
u ^ MflliMuraadan state they are "Sticars of the Prophet." The only 
** j Jjw of |sbm L the tiered law given out by Mo Ita mined; jurist 
pnadnice is + in reality, u branch of thculugy. And the chief duty of the 
a a f“ 1 enfoKcnieot of holy law. The caliph Vas the supreme re- 
v- f 4 ™*** Hmerry cf Western CrvMimhn. Htrceuft, Hracr uni €orn\my t Inc* 

^ I ;v -Amolil The C*tfph*te f OiIcrT Unirenuy Prc*. New York, m4* p. 19* 


Udwi head of Islam,* w «*3 names, "end tl» caliphate w ‘theocracy 
,n a degree rzrelv matched in any other historic government- Joseph 
Schatfu has summarized the composition and structure of Mudvfi 
^ follows- “Idem then permeated both state and cmlizmion,uitpressmg 

them »idi'» u«fi«d religious stomp.... U» !*«. » 
reliciun and an ideal of a state and oi ,i civilization, 

Thuo we sec that, although Warn is without an organized pnesthood 
or ecclesiastical hierarchy, religious elements are powerfully operate 
in rhe integrative and regulative processes ot the sociocultural system, 
The sratc is, b a very real sens^, a church also. 

The Tisie-cbttrch in Cbhteu culture- Like Islam, China h^ not p*- 
sessed an organized priesthood, hut again like hbm rebgtOlB cteljWB 
have played a prominent rote in the integration, regulation, and control 

of sociocultural systems in China, , . f 

fn the first place, the emperor derived lus authority from • 

Confucius emphasized, in his teachings, the dutv of □ sub ( ccr to tus ™ler. 
Durine the Han period Confucius "w as deified and worshipped, ho 
discipfes receiving sacrifices with him- i7 * 4 ° 
ficiallv adopted Coufudan principles m lire policy of the state, barn 
at the tomb of Confucius began early in tttc Han era. By A-» -J 7 - the ^ /' 
ship had become official. In a .a J* Hun Ming Tt ordered that saenfice 
vlu.uld be paid to Confucius in the government schools, lhc influence 
Of Confucius was fch m rhe government in yet another way, n3 ” 1 >' 
through sd inters who were not only influential in govetumeual ia- 
initiii-i ratio cl, but in religious contests as uell- “Han scholars. . 
Turner, "formed a land of priest class, and m many respects t ie ■ 
empire was a glorified priestly monarchy " J During the fang iv_ ,* 
"temples tr> Confucius were erected in all cities of the empire. - _ 

emperor attempted 10 bestow the title of it, “god-*mp«oi\ «f*™ *?J 
fucius, but failed. In more recent times the Manchu emperors _ 

the Confumns and obtained their support. And during the Hep 
(190-19:7), an attempt was made to make Confucianism a lta 

S The religious and ecclesiastical aspect of the mechanism of mtcgrariMi 
and control is thus seen to be very significant in Chinese culture, a 

- Itemes, <*. rir, pf>. 514, J» 7 . P* „ J . _ ___ 

“Joseph Schaehr, "Islam." in Eneyetir^Ju e>j the SotUl Sexnen, l 

Company, New Y'ark. 19jr.pp-539" **>■ . . „ 4 ftj i. .1 

“Jnlifi K. Shrv-odt, Tbe Origin i'*J U-clopmcm cf ik* Siatt C ' . 

^cin-O.itury-Crofn, Inc. New Vurfc. c W i, p. si Our dixuiuM of 
11 tn*cd hjgcty m Shn'wlc. 

*Ttifrar* op. f*r, vd. i. pp. 

M 5hcyoc1ci oti PP- **7* 


hFjjn. despite die absence rtf an organised pricsfhooJ, or of a formal 
“church” in the political sense in which u*e know this institution in Chris* 
ttan Europe. 

Ii would 1 m easy to demorntnue that stare and church arc bur rwo 
aspects, or kinds of components, of the spectaj mechanism of integration 
am! control in Western, Christian culture, also. Early church councils 
nmk decisions that had the 'Totce of bw\ Thus the chimcter of die 
Church is a Stare institution voiced itself in them." |a Tlie church of the 
A fiddle Ages “was essentially an organised stated according to FlfckJ* 
And Haves has enumerated the political powers of the Popes a$ “supreme 
tan giver, supreme fudge, and supreme ad minims tor " 17 But an exami- 
nsirion of the statc<h«rch in western Europe lies outside the province 
of thi'i volume. 

Cfoss ftTveture of ch r H society. There were two main ohisses in civil 
®c«ty. th *5 domiftint ebss and the subordinate class, but each of these 
may !>c divided into subclasses, Tlie dofntnanr ebss was composed of 
the political rulem, priests, and military men, Very often, as we haw 
seem the king was also a priest Sometimes, too, ihe king was rhe head uf 
the military organization, In some *tate$ there was d cbv> of Ttobta who 
tomfitured a rural aristocracy and who ruled over districts of rhe king¬ 
dom. The devdopmem of mill dry technology—the introduction first 
of bronze, later i>f iron* weapons w ml the introduction of horses and 
chariots— Jed to the fomisttitin of military aristocradcs. In regions where 
fFtc commercial, as dbtmgtiblied from rhe feudal* type of economy pre¬ 
vailed, a merchant class sometimes rose to power. The independent bwri- 
nesituiin had become an important figure in society in Hartitnunibfi 
time. And in Babylon mercantile oligarchies became powerful enough 
10 r ival rhe primly and military classes, 

The subordinate class consisted of those who produced wealth bv 
fficims uf their labor. They may be divided, first of all, into an urban 
and a rural working class. The former were craftsmen of various kinds; 
Hie tatter were agrictiltuttitists. The run] working class was composed 
r if free peasants in sonic instances: of serfs or staves, in others. Where a 
free peasantry emted they were subjected to taxation, whkh toot from 
fhetn virtually all their produce c-vtept dot which was required for bare 
subsistence. The serfs were bound to the soil* ami the slaves wore mere 

Atridc, rjrtf3U5 amlinrs, '"Owrch Hisnuy*" in EncYtfop*edi* Bntjnm *oL j, 

A - * Fticlc. Tfc* Rim sf j&r Mfdbmut Churchy O. P- Putmm s Snm n Vw Y^rk, 

^ T H, 1 layEi, 4 Pollritsi *nd Svciri Huf&fy of Modem Europe, voL t, 19 r&. 


The arliKi sped a I wed craftsmen were worker, in temple workshops, 
where they nlight lie serfs or ^v«. In culture where the commerced 
type of cconomv existed, an urban working class develop*! to provide 
wares for an expanding commerce. In many instances they were nr* 
gaiiized into hrotherhnodv or associations, under the supervision of a royal 
overseer. The rendencv was first to pay craftsmen their wages in kind, 
ic in food and other'goods, which they could use only for tlieif own 
consumption. Later, in the Iron Age. workmen «me to be paid money 


Slavery, too, seems to liave had its beginning in temple organizations, 
but Jstcr the institution became widespread in both urban nnd rural in¬ 
dustries. There were various kinds of slaves: (i) domestic, or household, 
slaves; f;) crafrsTiicn nitgehed m temple* or it* royal or noble house- 
holds; ft) gangs of slaves who worked upon public ivorks such a> pyra¬ 
mids. canals, temples, etc.; and (4) agricultural staves. Conquest and 
subjugation in war was the earliest source of slaves and cimnnue to it 
such for a long time. Later a sbve trade developed, with raiders cap¬ 
turing persons and selling them into slavery in other lands. Hie great 
merchants of Babylon, for example, used to purdtasc large rummers ol 
slaves from Semitic tribesmen who had captured them oil raids. At die 
commercial type of economy developed, and especially as a 
qucncc of usury, the ranks of slavery were recruited from children 
who were told by their parents to pay debts. 1 ’ . . 

A deep and fundamental cleavage thus ran through all civil societies- 
On the one hand v, as a class of kings, nobles, priests, and warriors who 
nikd; on the other were the rural and urban workers who might be 
“free" or might Ik serfs ur slaves. In any event, they were the wraith- 
producing class, and virtually all their produce, over and .ibnic r *■ 
required for a bate subsistence, was drawn off by means of taxes, curt 
—forced labor—or by simple appropriation. 

The property basis of civil society. We shall discuss this subject at 
greater length in our nest chapter, “Economic Structure of Higher n 
tures," but it is worthy of note litre that the class ■structure ol civil so¬ 
ciety is merely a political reflex of economic institutions. Hie dominant. 
Or ruling, class has a virtual monopoly of wealth, as it does of politics 
power. It either possess it outright or it acquires it by taxation* 
labor, or levies, tt may own the human produces <if wraith s$ w 
as the resources and the technologic means of prodtiction. The , 
ordinate, or working, class, on the other hand, are the producer <*i 
wealth, but retain but a portion of it for rheir own consumption. 

It b interesting to note, in this connection, an instance of the P°* inC 

“Cf. Tuiner* tip, fit, raL i, pp* i^joo. 


urgani^Lrion of a nation upon the baas of wealth. One of the pro* 
visions of the csirtainmnn of Solon, m 594 0^, was the division of the 
dtitenry into four elates upon the boris of wealth, each class haring 
piliriai] functions commensurate with its w ealth. 

Territorial orgimi^Twn t?f chit society. Sir Henry Maine divided hu¬ 
man social evolution into two great epochs; primitive society b'itt d upon 
ties of kinship, and modem society organized on a territorial bash, “The 
history of political itfc^is begins/ 1 he says, "with the assumption that 
kinship in hfnod is the sole possible ground of community in politico] 
functions/' He speaks of the introduction of tUt principle of load con- 
tiguity as a revolutionary innovation. The * l idea that m number of per¬ 
son should exercise political rights in common simply because tfic-v 
happened to live within the same topographies] iimits was utterly strange 
And monstrous to primitive antiquity/' 1(1 
Morgan expressed essential! Y F rite same views. He T too, divided ah hu¬ 
man ^series into two major types: S&ciem and thiffl, Society em¬ 
braced those sociucnltufiil system* rlut we have been calling primitive, 
or tribal These sndcries, S3 id .Morgan, 'Wre founded upon pe rsons, 
and upon relations purely personal/' The system which he called civisai, 
or the stJier, was founded “upon rerrirory and upon property." 3 * 

We hold this distinction to be valid today despite criricrim to which 
ir ha? ken subjected. 31 Lmvic accept rhe Maine-Morgan distinctir hi be¬ 
tween kinship In blood and local contiguity as principles of political 
Ofgabbatinn, but denies that these categories dutrau elite primitive 
’Hi) civil societies, respectively. The tcrrirorifll factor* he argues, is signsh- 
c.uit in the political organization of primitive peoples, and he traces 
:hc development of the state throng hour primitive society from 
"primeval iB beginnings/* 1 Lowie fails, however, ro produce any society 
thru is. organized throughout upon the hath of Jrinslup lies that also 
recognizes, in Maine’s terms, apolitical rights in common rim ply because 
they happened to live within the same topographical units. 1193 And we 
have already called attention ro the fact that foreigners, residing per- 
"Sir Henry Maine, “Primmrc Society and Ancient Law " chap. 5, drtdrm Latt, 


"Levfo l-f. Morgan, Ancient Society* chap, u 1 &77> 

* Neatly by Robert It. Lowic, in Ptmkk* Society* rp*t, pp- 3S*-M tn 
feu The Origin of the Sr Ate, 1^17. Margin 1 * ategortea md their e nrfatfnrt iry te 

waive arc iceepird, however, by Ratk^-Emmh " Indeed, w c may agree with 
^Aotgxa rliar The p*cutrc from lower fan# oi rivELcuttfci to higher forms rath ai 
<™r oiiti wari ti^ntLaJlv t jissigt fmfn society based on kinship 10 the sfaie 
W pclitkal Giginiiijotin^ Some Protdemi of Biaro Sodalng}/* Bam* Stadia 
•» October, 1 q;■ 1, pp, ^1. 

* Lowse 1 Thu Origin of ibe Smc* 

Mlfee, op r rife 


manendv in AthttB, hid nn pditfcat rights at all because they were 
not members of Greek kinship groups (the gerttei). 

While we do not admit that local contiguity ever constituted a prin¬ 
ciple of puli tie al organization in rrilxil society based upon kinship, we 
believe that we can discover in primitive society some of the anre- 
cedents of territorial political organization. To reduce a great mas of 
dm to J single statement, we believe it fair to say rhar in the transi¬ 
tion from tribal society to civil society, localized kinship group tvecamt 
terrimrifll units in the politico! system. 

Localized clans arc noe uncommon in many primitive societies. And 
e%Tn in trited villages where ail duns Ike together in □ single conn 
munity* there b often spatial distinction between one clan grouping and 
anoilier. After all, people must live somewhere, and this results in ^me 
instances, in a dose correspondence between kinship grouping am! pl^ce 
grouping. As triiies and darts grow larger and larger, the ties of kinship 
weaken,, as we have noted repeatedly* and the kinship organization tends 
to fall apart of its own weight. As the kinship factor wanes, the ter- 
ritonal factor waxes. By the time a special mcchaimm of coordination, 
integration* and administration has been developed and kinship k& been 
supplanted by prope ny as the bash of srKrial organization, it b territorial 
nnir, rather than kinship group, that becomes significant as a principle 
uf political organization. 

The Gandi of Uganda were organized into some thirty exogamou* 
patrilineal clans. Since the Ganda numbered almost a million people, 
most of the clans had several thousand members* A elan of this ?ize 
would tie too unwiddv to he .signifies nr nr effective in the com Inc r of 
social life* so they were divided into subetans. Each subclan had its nwn 
district which was administered by a chief But the njition as a winds* 
which was ruled by a ting who wielded absolute power, in theory at 
lease, was divided into ten district^ each of which was administered hv 
a chief nr "earl/' appointed bv the king. Each district was divided int® 
siitklistriers* which were administered by snbehtefs of various graslr 5 , 
flbo appointed by the king. Much of the kinship organization was pre¬ 
served in rhe dans* or rather the subclans, ami was significant in the 
daily life nf the common people. But with regard to the organization and 
admiiibtmtion of the nation as 4 whole, it was territorial nrganizubntt 
thit was functionally significant. 

We find territorial units in the political organization of *omc cultures 
where there are indications that these units were nrwe kinship gttniP^ 
Tliis is the case of the caipulli of the Aztecs. There are indications that 
rhey were originally esogamous, parrilineal dans* but by the ritne of the 
Spanish conquest they had become "localized in separate district* 

tut: ST.VTT-tJitiR.Qi: m forms and Ft -nations jri 

Kidt with its own temple mid cult* council house and officials , „ M :i The 
twenty CA/pwiW districts were the component pares tif the four quartets, 
into which Mexico was divided for governmental purposes. Similar!v 
the jvf/n of the Inca empire was, apparently, an cvugamoiis. matrilineat 
kinship group which became a standardized unit of one hundred malt 
hads of households. Each AyUu had a definite territory. A "tribe 11 was 
composed of male heads uf households, and fmu tribes comthmed 
j ^province"; the provinces of the empire were grouped into four 
"quarters" each ruled by a viceroy. The kinship organisation wm rnan^ 
formed into a teniforiaUv organized political system- 21 
In the evolution of political organization in ancient Egypt, clam were 
iramformed into teni tonal groupings called frame/, as Turner interpret 
tlic evidence "With the development of the Homes as territorial ad¬ 
ministrative areas... tribal organization was replaced by tciritoriiil 
rtilc;^ In ancient Greece, four tribes became unifies! in a single political 
vtiucturc, Attica, a hour 700 bx. The population was divided into three 
daM£s r according to wealth. To faciitEiic the raising and main re nance 
of military and naval forces* Attica was divided into forev^eighr clis* 
triers or nm$kmtes f twelve for weft nf the four tribes. About two cen¬ 
turies later* the trend from kinship 10 territorial organization was car¬ 
ried further by the reforms of Qeisthencs. I le abolished the four Ionian 
tribes ami substituted ten new and wholly artificial ’"tribes' 1 in their stead. 
Membership in these tribe was based upon residence in Else Jeme t a 
village or township of Attica* nr a section of Athens itself According to 
Aristotle'S Constitution af Athens, Attica wts further divided into three 
geographical regions: urban and suburban, inland, and maritime. Each 
region was subdivided into ten trittyes* Each tribe had three twiyu, 
one located in each tif these three regions, Eunhtntiorc, artisans and 
merchants who had migrated to Attica and had titled there, but who, 
up to this time, had had no political rights because they were outside 
the kinship organization, were now given citizenship by the reform* of 
Qeisihenes. Here again we see kinship organization giving way and ter¬ 
ritorial organization taking form. 

I he remtoriji] Organization of modern fusions is made manifest in 
such as stales* counties, townships, shire*. Dingregional disiricts, 
and so OtL 

Gcnrge p. Murddefct Rimma re description! nf -Amk culture in Our Prhrtttivt 
* tmtenipararici T f Ur Micmiliin CumfsaHV. N'i w Vatic, (VJ4, p V* WlUdock caJLi 
tdpxUi Vltni$» l|K however. &: t_ A, White’s dik^iun in nt A m trie jn 

-<vWfy S>t ,l 0 z 7 1 . >940. 4P-4J. 

^AtWfact, op. rit., pp, 410, 4 r5-4ids 
Turner, op. fir, vnL p. jScl 


Fotirfcid fornn: monarchy, ftudaUrm, democracy, The political sys¬ 
tems of civil society have a variety nf fontis whidi* however* nwij he 
grouped roughly under the rubrics of monarchy, feudalism, and dt- 
mocrucy* or parliamentary forms. little need be said of die 
form since it is very common and rather well understood. A single indi¬ 
vidual a king! stands at the head of the political organization of the stare. 
He may also be a priest; he may be the head of the armed forces. If is 
power may be virtually absolute, or it may be qualified by a council of 
nobles or by a pirliatncnr. The characteristic of the monarchical form 
is etnTrdUzatwn of power* 

The fekiibd form is distinguished by decentralization, Jt may have a 
king, but if so his power is limited, or perhaps merely nominal. Feudalism 
b characterised bv a number of local, territorial nobles, often a mili¬ 
tary aristocracy, who, under the nominal authority of a king, or indc- 
pondently and "in their own right, rule their respective demesnes* 

We can point to no instance of the democratic, or parliamentary* form 
of government among the great cukurcs of the Bronze Age and only a 
few during the Iron Age; parliamentary government is essentially a 
diaractcristic of the modem era of Western culture. There are, how¬ 
ever, a few example? of democratic, or republican, forms of govern¬ 
ment in the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. We shall cite an 
example of the former. 

Athenian democracy tagin with the constitution of Solon, cn. 594 we. 
This document divided the citizenry into four classes based upon wealth 
and admitted ihc lowest class to polrtkal rights^to sit in the Assembly 
md oxt juries, id participate in titc election of magistrate^, etc. I ho chief 
offices in the executive, judicial, and religious spheres were, however, 
open only to The wealthiest citizens. The reign of the tyrant Pbbrntm 
and liis nvo son; was followed bv another constitutional reform authored 
by Qristhenca, ca r 501 %v. m The sraic was organized territorially, u w» 
divided into a hundred or more districts called denies. E'very Athenian 
citizen became a member of a dome and exercised political rights If 
virtue of this membership. The state was administered by « Council 
of Five Hundred* which was composed of men selected by Uk f Jom 
candidates elected by the demts. Any citizen was eligible to sit in the 
Council, 'flsen there was an Assembly winch consisted of “'the esinrt 
citizenry over twenty ycar% of age ' and which Vi jnct regularly teD 
times a year/’ r Under the constitution of Clelsthcues. Athens wm 
governed by elected offidab. There was no property qualification f ur 
office, and, under Pericles, officials were paid for their service, malting 

**' Tamer, op* £tr. y 1, p. 4701 no* Kcoanr of Athenian dnnucnty b dra«t> 
Ljrpily from Turner. 

mt srATtf-cuuneir: ns roasts axd ruivcnoxs jjj 

it possible for poor citizens to hold office. The Assembly could try of¬ 
ficials on charges of treason, impiety, or improper pcrformimCt of their 
duties, and if convicted, they could order punishment in the form of 
fines, exile, or death. 

Democracy in ancient Athens did not mean that all men were equal 
politically hy any means- Even though k, thc development of democracy 
had given power to the poor citizens/' aiys Turner, ik rhe chief func¬ 
tionaries of the state were, almost without exception, members of the 
noble and wealthy landowning families/'- H Furthermore, only chiu*m 
had political rights, and this class constituted only about jj' per cent 
of the population. The other classes were slaves, J 6 per cent, anil the 
metics, or foreigners, who comprised about q percent, The metier ctuihj 
not vote or hold office or become members of die priest !in<uj.. They 
could not own Lind, or ask the state for relief in times it! dire rated 
Even thdr children were regarded as illegitimate. They were, however, 
obliged to pay taxes such as were levied upon citizens ind aft additional 
metic tax. Failure to pay the latter tax reduced the meric to slavety* 

Funstim of tke stxtt-ehirch. The function of die state-church, Jn a 
wofd, b flic preservation of the integrity of the sodoculiura) system 
of which Sc is a part. This means, as we have seen, coordination and con- 
irrrl of parts and regulation of the system as a whole. The integrity of 
civil social systems U threatened from two directions: outside md in¬ 
ti Je, If a sociocultural system is to preserve its identity and integrity 
ir rnuu defend itself from its enemies abroad Rot sometimes the best 
tfrfeme* in inter™f tonal relations as weJJ a> in prize fighting, is offense. 
This means, then, that the state-church must mobilize the resources— 
people and materials—of its own socinculruia! system from rime rn time 
und employ them in military effort of offense and defense, in short, in 
warfare. The integrity of a social system may be threatened from Mich in 
as well as from without. All civil societies arc composed of classes with 
conflicting interests. In every instance there is the dichotomy of t minor* 
ity ruling class with a virtual monopoly of wealth or political power or 
both, and a majority of the population held In bondage of one sort or 
another, economic or political nr both. And in many"societies [here is 
competition and rivalry among the upper classes for the position of 

The struggle bent ecu dominant and subordinate classes has been 
chronic and perennial in civil society. The lower classes—the slaved 
serft, iud ustrial proletariat—periodically try to better their lot hy revolt 
and insurrection. If the social system b to be kept intact, if it b not to 
tiplmlc j n violence and subside jn anarchy, The rdariomhip of subonjina- 


- P- 47 


don and iiiperordituHon iKrvvccn ihe cbss<s must be maintained; in 
other words, the subordinate class must be kept in a condition of sub¬ 
jection and exploitation. It is flic business of the state-church to see that 

xhiz is done, „ , _ . , 

The subjaction of rhe mascs, and the iitntudcs of durnirtant and 

subordinate classes toward each other, have been graphically described 
by Turner: 3 

“In the alliance of the priest class and rlic military class | J.e.. the secular 
amt of die state-church J religious duty, legal right, and force were fused, 
and the original peasant-village attitude of acquiescence to the overwork! 
0 f spirits was d.ilioratcd into a subservient manner toward earthly su¬ 
periors- A;; the masses became servile, the priestly and military clasn 
became lordly and arrogant, Thcv looked upon labor as degrading anil 
explained the refinements of life which their exploitation of the masses 
made possible as the result of their own superior mental and moral 
niiaUtic;. To the subservience nf the exploited masses they Opposed i 
patronizing insolence and declared the masses fit for no better lot than 
Working to support their betters. They suppressed the resistance of the 
masses by a ferocity which, while maintaining rheir domination, only 
made the masses more brutal. Urban cultures taught both the power- 
holding groups and the powerless masses the utility of the resort to 
violence for political purposes.” 

]n addition to preserving the integrity of Its own sociocultural s\ utem 
against enemy attack from abroad and from revolt and insurrection itom 
within, the srjtt-chLirch has or her functions of interna J qfgaoaauon, 
regulation, and control Thoe have to do with the tretnemloosly im¬ 
portant process of transmitting culture from each generation to its suc¬ 
cessor, namdvi educatbi r, with relationships between persons in 
risgv ^nc| the f*miJy H with crime and punishment, property ret aaotK, 
public health* social welfare, means: of triinspamtion and cnirnnumcation. 
•md so on. We now wish to consider these functions of the smc-churc 
in their specific and concrete manifestations. We shall do tlib firs* ^ osl1 
the standpoint of the state* then of the church. 

The State 

IfV. All states maintain military, and some have naval, forces for die 
purpose of waging offensive and defensive warfare with rheir neig 
bora* fn this rtvpccc they are all alike; they differ in the ways in v bici 
this is dime, and we may note a few specific instances- Protublv tsf 
most common method of raising an army is by levies or cansenpu^ 

P WJ. I rol. i, p, n8| + 


this ha* been the practice of ancient and rnmiem societies alike. Another 
method much in vogue lias been the use of mercenaries. 

In some instances, the head of the state is also the head of the aimjr 
and actually leads or sccomji.trlies it on irs campaigns. It appears that the 
Egyptian pharaohs once kd their armies in person. Eventually* how¬ 
ever, a professional military class develops and rake* over the actual 
conduct of military itTairs. Sargnn of Akkad, in rhe third millennium w.c.. 
wenu to have been the first to establish a permanent military force. We 
learn from the code of Hammurabi that 3 special military class existed 
in Kahyloma, 

Some states made use of spies as ' J disrance'pcrtqptofs“ for the armies 
and military intelligence for rhe government, The merchants of the 
Azxtcs, for example, used ro serve a$ spies among the peoples with whom 
they traded. 

Material resources as well as manpower arc mobilized by rhe state. 

We have already taken brief note of the consequences of war- A por¬ 
tion of the population of the defeated nation may be taken home by 
the victors as slaves; Sarpon of Akkad "introduced the practice of ett- 
slaving the entire populations of sob jeered cities^ w There may be an¬ 
nexation of conquered territory, in. which case the vanquished may l)c 
kepi on the Idnd as serfs and vassals. The victor appropriates the wealth 
ot the vanquished in varying degree, and in diverse wiys-*as loot* i-poils, 
trophies, or levies. This wealth is commonly distributed among the ruling 
cloid of the conquering nation: members of the riding family and the 
government, rhe church and priesthoods,, and military leaders* Warfare 
tends to maintain and even to intensify the class structure of nations. 
People.; of the vanquished nation are subjugated The masses of the 
vkrorioitv nation have become subordinated to absolute rule as a condi- 
titm of waging war, white the ruling class becomes enriched and more 
strongly entrenched in power, 

Class struggles. The lot of rhe subordinate class is often a hard one, and 
excessive privation and roil coupled frequently with harsh and brutal 
treatment, indue them it> revolt Slave revolts, insurrections of serfs, 
uprisings of peasants arc chronic and periodic occurrences in civil so¬ 

An insurrection of the masses took pEaee in Egypt as early as noo n.c^ 
according to Morer and Turner, 31 Another uprising occurred during 

*. p. *9&. 

Alexandre iVloret, The Nile *inJ F.gjptim CKx/famon, 1017. pp. ixf-lji; Ralph 
Turner, u p r c } ti VQ i P| pp ps. Frankfort* bnwever, iayi ihu their 

** nn rtidenre a! u iny inn* of rcrduucin in three tJuurcnd ytta of recorded 


the Twentieth Dynasty. “Both Iwd ihcir origin in the failure of the 
rulin-r d^cs to permit the masses to have sufficient food," ays Turner, 
“and^botli were accompanied by disorder, murder, and robbery. M 
Iran tan peasants rose against the priests and nobles in the M&tdjiijii 
revolt about ai>. joo, seizing bind and cattle and transforming that 
villaces into communistic communities- There were uprisings of peasants 
ind miners in Chins under the early Han emperors. In Spam, secret 
scents circulated among the bcloti, one of the two set '' ile clasws, to 
-rch nut mil hill "anyone who was disobedient or showed signs of 
[xvsjessitig superior intelligence/* A quarter of a million slaves rose 
in revolt in Sidlv in the second century ax. They were starved imo su>- 
mission, and thousands of diem were crucified. A slave revolt in Italy 
led by Spartacus in n c.t wa s eventually put down on the field of 
battle; < 5,000 of his followers were crucified dong the Appian Hay. 
These are but a few example* of the countless insurrections and upnsinjp 
through tint the length and breadth of civQ society for centuries on <ai 
h Js die business of the state, the secular ami of the special mechanism 
of integration end control in civil society, to put down these insurrec¬ 
tions In order to preserve the integrity of the nation vvitlun which they 
occur. And the sternest measures, are employed in this process; mass 
executions arc the rule. Sometimes, of course, five state joes not socce 
in quelling a revolt, or. nt least, it does not remain unshaken by tt The 
first great revolt in Egypt ■'destroyed the power of Memphis, savs 
Turner, and the second, in the Twentieth Dynasty, “weakened the posi¬ 
tion of Thebes, the capital of the empire-Upper Egypt never re¬ 

covered from this disaster...” 4 ‘ The disruptive effeer of insurrection, 
on the one hand, and the role of the state in putting down revolts, on the 
other, are made cry still clear by these dimples. 

Blood revenge and private vms* Tn primitive society an injury or a 
death was avenged by the injured party or by his kinsmeru Ami m 
ihe actual culprit could nut be found for punishment, revenge cuultl be 
inllictcii upon members of fiii family. In sht)^ in tribal societ). 

fastm* in anewnr Egyp. ‘There were ttfikei and d«tn^n«nxiana ImcJ irl 
Hirbifi necmpifc m Ramcssid rfnir* w hen minus FdJ * ynunili bchwd nt ” L , 
tJicrc ii no tnec of any political manmeot *gtin# the existing onfcr Ofl' ^ V. 
irjrv H the pccpEc showed their affection fur the buttotiun kinpliip---' * - 
Ion, Anetrm K^ptan Religion, Celuilibu Lnivcnsiiy Puss. New VoHc, m ■ FT 

* "Ralph Turner, The Great Cttlittrd TmthwWi vo L u MeGtaw-HiH #**>1 Gym 
pmy, Inc-, [941. p 301* 

“IML. p- 4 * 7 - 

m lbidu p. 30 ^ 



ante wtis an affair among kin groups, n private right rather than a 
public, tribal prerogative. Ori higher vulruntt levels w here pflSptity is 
more abundant and is coming m be more significant id wc?,d relation.^ 
the rule of a life for a life, an eye for an eye* become* commuted into 
money, and the wergild is c*rablhhcd id a scries of gradations corre¬ 
sponding to the seriousness of the offense* 

With rhe advent of civil society private vengeance becomes outlawed, 
und the stare assumes an exclusive right ro lull. This applies both to per- 
s^naJ vengeance and private "wars.” such as used tn be fought by Scottish 
clans. Blood revenge had been outlawed in the ancient Aitec arid Inca 
states, and in Negro African monarchies such ns those of the Qutdi and 
the DihOnKMUs, The state had exclusive jurisdiction over crimes in ancient 
Egypt and Mesopotamia, The uiLiJawmg of private vengeance and war* 
h one of the best indications could be cited of tltc achievement 
of M status of civil society, It b intc rearing to note, however. rim rim 
point was reached rather late among Germanic people^ and in England. 
“As late as 1439/’ according 10 Alunroe Smirk “the schoffcn {crinitnal 
Judges) of Namur declared jfi a judgment; 'If the kin of the skin 
mun will and can avenge him. good luck to them, for with ihk matter 
wt schriffeu have nothing to And as recently as rise fifteenth 

century in England, a private war was fought her ween two noblemen 
and their followers,** One of the leaden was killed, and a money pay¬ 
ment was made to his widow by his opponent. Thh appears to have 
been rile hst instance either nf private war nr of wergild in England,” 

State *md property. Given the class character and property Irakis of civil 
society it k easy to see that property rights musi be pro recced by the 
ttate-church, There must be some means to prorccr the property-holding 
classes in the possession of their wealth; and the re musi be ways of ap¬ 
propriating the economic surplus from the w orking class. These wavs 
and means arc political and arc employed by state and church dike. We 
have already had occasion to take note of the relation of the state O 
property in our previous discussion of civil society in general, it lias 
long been recognized that one of die baric functions of the stucc is to 
establish and to maim jin an economic system, "‘Government^ institution^ 

■ Alnuruc Smithy Th? Dtvttoptttrm of Enrapem Ln=* Cuhimbtfl t'Fi^rrpty Pmv 
N * w Vent, p. jo. 

she tenth ccfRwy King EduiumJ attempted to utKp privitc wtn by mikbsg 
ilwm, ttlrpL *lt wiv * tattoos point m English hlunry when he did thi\ «)i 

“t ur |{ at onet. . I ong afttr the mtrt Ifremm eeaied rt* 

®° to war with HU neighbor*. there were noblei ivlio stand to their old right-" E- B. 
r ^t AatitTQpaiogy t [fiSi, pp. 41^-41^ 

p, 419. 


and Jaws,” observed Morgan, “are simply contrivances for the creation 
and protection of property." *" Similarly, the distinguished German so¬ 
ciologist Tunnies remarked that •‘societies and stats are chiefly instira- 
dmu'fiir !ht peaceful [sic I acquisition and for the protection of pmp- 
cnv " » This iv the view of the Roman Catholic Church also, as set forth 
bv Pnpc Leo XIII in his encyclical "On the Condition of Labor," In a 
Section headed 'T he Scare Should Protect Private Property," he says, 
“it must he borne in mind that the chief thing to l« secured k the safe- 
guarding, bv legal enactment and policy, of private property " 

' Qa^ struenrre rcsr> upon property relations in civil society, and the 
state undertakes to maintain both. In some culm res. however, the stability 
of class structure is threatened by economic processes. It might hap¬ 
pen. for emnplc, that some members of rite lower classes might ac¬ 
quire enough wealth to enable them to wear clothing or ornaments 
characteristic of the upper classes. If this should happen, the position 
and prerogatives of the upper classes would be threatened, and there 
Is no telling how far the elevation of the low er discs might go. To 
prevent this assault upon class structure and the privileges of the upper 
classes, some societies have resorted to sumptuary laws. A sumptuary 
law prevents one from consuming or displaying his wealth as he pleases-, 
it is a political device for keeping an economic process in check. Ordi¬ 
narily, of course, there is no need for legislative controls; the lower 
classes are usually unable to afford everything they need, to say nothing 
of luxuries. But when economic conditions place luxuries in the hands 
of some members of ? subordinate class, the state may have recourse to 
legislation to preserve the class structure of the society. Among the Incus, 
for example, the common people "could wear only the coarser garm ents 
of Ibma wool, the liner fabrics of alpaca and vicuna wool being rc5C ‘T*. 
for the nobiliry, Forbidden ro them, also, were the choicer food deli¬ 
cacies, the more intoxicating beverages, and coca. 1 hey might wear wisp* 
of straw or wool in their ears, «r small pendants of wood or day. W® 
nor larger earrings of dearer materials. They could adorn themselves with 
neither gems, feathers, nor the gold end silver rings, arm bands, a nttffl 
and breast ornaments of the upper dosses." tn In pre-Columbian Mexico, 
it was a capiral offense for an Aztec commoner "to build a stone house 
or rn wear cotton clothing or ornaments nf gold and precious stottf*. 
Silk clothing was an exclusive privilege of princes and the aristocracy in 

"£irwii from thr Eatoptjn Ttarti Jmirrtal of J.rtcrr If. Mori*”, lesli* 
Whirr (e«U. Jtoetiesrrr Mitt on cal Society Puhlfcaiions, ret id, i 9 .t 7 - P- 

■ F*fdtamd Triiitue*. “ I"hc PmliTcnw <rf Social Structure.'' Proettdmp, ri*** r ‘ 
of Am 3nJ Serene«r, 1904, voL j, p. 159, *906. 

“ Murdock, op. «/„ p. 419. 

*««, p. jra. 

Tiir state-church: rn furms vsu Jlnctioni 

China in Cirly J fan times. and jmiriptuary legislation wa\ enacted m keep 
ii rising merchant cLut from wearing it> We find aiiuptuiiy feghladon 
in western European culture. also. In England under the Tutlors. for 
example, no man under flit iJcgit£ of a lord is to wear any cloth of 
guld or silver, sables.*.. Velvet of crimson or blue is prohibited to any 
out under the degree of a knight of the garter.,.. Coming to the lowest 
clasit no serving man is to use above 2*/% yards in, a shore gown or ; in 
3 long one. and servants of husbandly, shepherds, and labourers, not 
having goods above £ 10 in value, art forbidden to wear doth exceed¬ 
ing u. the yard, or hose exceeding iW. rhe yard under pain of three 
days* confinement in the stocks." <:t 

Punishment of thzft* As a means of sifcgUdttling the property founds- 
tkm of civil society, the state punished theft with severiry. Among the 
Aztecs thieves were enslaved. Petty theft in the Inca *n>rc was punished 
hv flogging; theft from the stare was punished by death. The Grnuti 
tolled a thief if caught in the act; otherwise Ire was mud bred. In the 
great urban cultures of the Bronze Age death or munbtkm was the 
usual punishment for theft. Whether drastic punishment acted as 3 de¬ 
terrent or not is a question for which we have no adequate answer 
But whether it did or did nor, ir was employed for this, purpose. And the 
frequently lethal reprisals imposed by the state certainly kept many per¬ 
sons from committing die offense a second time* 

Irrigation, frrigatinn h of necessity i communal enterprise, Even in 
Mtne primitive tribes we find irrigation carried on by the community 
under the direction of a tribal administrator.* 1 Irrigation was a stare 
enterprise in aboriginal Peru and Mexico. And one of the principal func¬ 
tions of the state in rhe great urban cultures of the Bronze Age was the 
irrigation of rhe fields; their economy depended primarily upon it, and 
consequently their whole political and social system rested upon this 

StjTr monopolivj. In many of the ancient cultures nf rhe Bronze A^e 
rhe itate undertook to conduct or to administer ccmin industries or to 
monopolize the commercial exchange of certain goods. .Merchant classes 
were not prominent in societies of the early Bronze Age* and therefore 
tf was necessary 8 in many instances for the state to exercise industrial 
aud commercial" functions. 

"Turner, op, rtf, vof. 3^ pp T Jtij. ftti, 

^ k. Uoaper, J Tlic Tudpr Siu^pcuiry Ls *!,* 1 Eugtkb JfiflW&jJ Rrtit'Jt 
.i? *?* HJ4. 'V> 

a ^r “tf rxampt. I jc-Jic A, WMi|| JF Thc Pueblo oi Sauia Ant New Mtriao," 
.iRUfrii.pj H mbT 0 p&!&£i£j 3 Aw&titiion 60. r^i, pp- 


tn ancktu Oiioa* for c^uitpkr the state held, he various rim®, mo- 
niipolini pi sttcJi resources and numofacmrcs as forest products, salt 
manufacture, iitin, shellfish beds fermented drinks, eic.* J 

"'In Maurj'in India. Hsrt China,, Sassanian Persia* the Hcllcnbtic king- 
dorm, and imperial Rome the state, U. the poGtiadly organized mteg 
class, kept industrial enterprise mainly in its hands- The state monopolies 
were established more m* a means of raising revenue, directing labor* 
and controlling prices than -is a way of organizing capital, and except 
in mining* metalworking, arid textile making the state enterprise uere 
principal]? of the kind known ps public works—the building of walk, 
road 1 *, aqueducts, canals, embankments* palaces* and temples* Such enter¬ 
prises were conducted as state undertakings, partly because only the 
state could finance them and partly because thenecessary labor force 
could be commanded only by political authority- 4n 

Money, jitafl'eii. iseigbis nnd wteoturel. The state came tn ctercise in- upon the economic processes of civil society through its super¬ 
vision of markets and weights and measures ant! through its eventual 
tnufiopnly of the fight to coin and issue money. VVc find markets super¬ 
vised by government officials among the Aztecs of Cortez day and in 
&ontc of the Negro African monarchies* 

Rtmh md rr&vtl Integration of a sociocultural system require* iiKutt 
of coiiimunicmim and transportation, and we find rhe scute furt cnpntng 
in rhis field, also. The Alices had a system of well-kept roadr, smm 
were spanned by wooden or suspension bridge. Couriers were staDonw 
at prats dong the rwds. It Is said thac fresh fish whs brought 33 j? 
from the Gulf of Mexico to the capital for Monttzumi’s table. In 
proCohmihian Pam two main highu -iy*, one coastal, the otbec mlami 
traversed the Inca empire from north tip -outh, and 3 network of enr*- 
roads radiated iHit from the capital, Cu?Co* Courier stations were > 
cared every two or tlwet milcs, and message could be tctusmirccd spec 
lly; the distance between Quito and Cunco* i,joo miles* negonai 
in ten days, fn Uganda a network of excellent roads, somerimes more 
thin 12 feet wide, connected the residence of the king with those « 
his principal chiefs, and those in rum with the lesser chic A n * 
Macedonian empire policed highway*, provided with shelters, mvt t . 
the land. The royal road from Sardis to Susa, 1,500 miles, ' 

m o weeks' travel rime- In Qhtih p prior to the t hn dynasty. V ^ E S ^ sr ^ 
of roads radiating out from the capital, Ha 01 Vang in Shemi. was ^ 
smictcd by the king; it gave ham a great advantage over the feudal 00 c* 

*M G ranee, Ckmttt CMkotuyn f t Itj. 

- Turner, f?p. rir-, voi pp. r-^p-Eifi^ 

nur 5 TATE-cmjftO*: its fghms ami functions $11 

and tfHOTJ materw 11 y tu unification of bud and government. And finally, 
Rome was out^raluiing in the construction of rn&ds. In Trajan's time 
there were 47*000 miles of highway. Caesar once made a ]mnmey of 600 
mite in ten days. Many Roman roads were pared, had inns, road guides, 
and signposts, 

Government .md the individual Tlic process of coordination, Integra- 
non, and control of a sociocultural system must concern itself with the 
individual as rhe irreducible unit of jfr struct Lire. The state supervises 
and controls the life of an individual in general, and it applies special 
pressure upon him at various points, such a4 birth, marriage, military 
service, and death. The h subject to Jaus with respect to o f.iv: 
stnEus, property, theft, and other offenses. Bui perhaps the stategreat- 
esc concern with die individual has to do with Ms education and training. 

Educatioth In our society, and from the standpoint of scholars* learn¬ 
ing and education arc rntdlnctuaj activities dediojtcJ m the search for 
truth and the transmission of these truths to others. From the standpoint 
of 1 sodoeultuiral system* however, eduction is a political process; it 
is a means of social integration and control. From an an ill 
pint of view-, education is the process whereby the culture of one genera¬ 
tion is passed on to the next, it is the way in which stidcty imposes cus^ 
tmiK, liclicfs, attitudes, idtith, and patients of IsehavEor upon individuals 
Hie process of education may be forma) or inf omul, and the latter is 
likely rn be the more effective in duping one's Life bcOttfce it h more 
continuous, more pervasive. and h an integral part of everyday life. The 
cemceprinn of education as a prdiried process was well expressed by Ans- 
tutfei L 0f ill things that I have mentioned that which contributes most 
* ,p r hc permanence of constitutions is the adaptation of education to the 
fonts of government, ,, * That education should be regulated by tuw 
and sliuuld be an affair of rhe stare is nor to be denied. The citizen 
ihmifd he moulded 10 mil the form of government under which he Uve$ 
littlsis 5upplietlJ. ,> 4T He praised the I^ccduemoniflus because "they rake 
*be greatest pains about their children, and make education the business 
of rhe scare/* * B 

There is little state concern with the education of the masses in the 
ancient Bronze Aije culture*, although even amonfj rhe Aztecs we find 

^Arinwk, Polities book j g chap, 9* p. ijaoa; book S fc chirps 1 in 4 i* p, ijjt*. 
"Chrr mp thousand ytm hter Kuprimn Bdnipjn? <ipre»fd much the nme 
taw- ' Of all political quciKtnas thw fof cdiKiruifl) is pSThapi the most bpctftnit 
f^FTt ^irsntHr be 1 ficnly cstablnhcd polmcal *nnr unices iherv is a lewdiing body 
^ Jcflnhclv recognised principles." I L Kimkl, "Education. Public," b Fn- 
tyfhpittdij t/f the Sveta! Science? r sol, 5, The Macmillan Company* Ntur Vqxku 

p 4 ti. 


d is trier schools for the itfifu of cornmaranL In ancient Egypt, during the 
Old Kingdom* there writ schonfc attached to the palscc to train young 
men in such practical a if airs as writing, mathematic engineering, medi¬ 
cine, etc. “Education cum&tcd solely of the pficticallv useful ctjmp 
mcnt for an official career M 19 In ancient India the eccleriastiCal influence 
in education wes great, hut there were relatively ocular fchooU for In¬ 
struction in practical matters AlsO( in some tfi^ancp + cnipcrnp ^ ere 
patrons of universities, and s^mc scholars exercked considerable political 
influence In Qiina, education became an integral part of rhe political 
organization of rhe state, A know ledge nf the classics was necessary 
t<i ennoblement in the time of XVu t"i (setond century ux.). For cen¬ 
turies one had to pass an examination before he could lie appointed to 
political office, so that, as Counts has observed, China was ruled by 
sc|iokcs- M This system also had the effect of seen rely binding l4 the cm 
tire learned group to rhe tKrone ** In Japan during the Nam period 
(about eighth century a.d.}, the primary aim of education was to train 
men for official posts. 113 

Ancient Greek society had a pronounced seed nr emphasis—Aristotlt 
does nor even mention priests in his list of occnpatimil groups or classes. 
The chief concern was with the relation between the individual and 
the stare, not between man and God. Plato's Laws and Republic and 
Aristotle's Palhict and his studies of const!onions indicate the focus of 
interest in Grccl^ social life anti thought Education, therefore, was to 
Im: a concern of the state, According ro both Plato and Aristotle, iduca- 
tinn should be tegulaxed by rhe state authority, it should be compuhory 
for free citizens and uniform fnr all. 

Education in Rome in early times wts confined largely to the family; 
later, elementary- schools were established. Under rhe empire the rhetori¬ 
cal schools were gradually organized into a state system. 

Summitry $f the state 't functions. Wc have now seen how the state, 
bv means of such governmental machinery as kings* lords, viziers, and 
miohrers, assemblies or parliaments, courts, police, and penal ir^utti- 
rions. integrates, regulates, and controls much of the life of civil so¬ 
cieties. They defend them against aggression from abroad and from in- 
surrection within And they carty on or regulate many intrasncrcial 

" J, H, Erraiicd, Hkttiry of Egypt, rev* cd.„ Chatiei Scribner's Sont, Nr* 1 
p- rn 

"G. S. Count* H Kdu canon. Hutacy** in EncyetaptetfU of ihc Svml 5f-t n ?* 7 - 
vvl. io|fp p. **4- 
m Turner, ftps ri*.« v*L i T Ail- 

"F- Brinkleys ^ Hitter* of i £f jAp^nese PtopU 7 iqi $, p- 

m "VVitSiin the irate, the social order. urh*tever it rnny Iw, h maifltdnrd fcy ^ 
pBJUVfrnvmt of those who offend jgrinsi the law* and by the armed sapfii*^-^ e 


Pieros—of communication* fntnsportarinn, irrigation, public health 
and welfare, finance and cominercc, punishment of crime* education, 
etc. —which me csMrnriaJ or desirable la the effective funcrmnmg of the 
ncfcty* The gout of objective of these endeavor? i$ security. qanrinuity, 
and the effective functioning of the sociocultural system. " 

The Church 

Having surveyed the functions of rhe state is a (DCchtlUn) of integra¬ 
tion* regulation, and control* let us now turn to the church. If, as we 
have premised, state and church are bur iwo aspects, or segments* of the 
special integrative and regulative mechanism of civil societies, then we 
should expect to find rhat the functions of the cllurch, and the role tliat 
it play* in the social organism* arc fundamentally like those of tire state. 
This, as a matter of fact, is what we du rind, as the following will show . 

!n a word* the function of the church in civil society is to preserve 
the integrity of the sociocultural system of which it is s part by (i) of- 
fensivo-defensive relations with neighboring muons* (a) keeping the 
Subordinate class at home obedient and docile in order io prevent db- 
integration as a consequence of insurrection and cavil war* anil (j) 
earning on intrasdtdetaJ processes of various kimk h such as agriculture* 
irrigation, handicraft industries* business tr.iunctions, public worts, and 
in influencing the lives of individuals by means of education and ritual v 
Evtryw here in civil society die clergy—the higher clergy. At least— 
is a pan of the ruling class, and as such exerts great political indue nee 
ot authority and enjoys prerogatives of great wealth, A> we have already 
noicd, there is often a very dm* relationship between the head of the 
government and the priesthoods; the ruler himself is nm infrequently a 
pr?est Ami where this as not the ca^c, the priests invariably advise the 
mltri on matters of policy. The two head priests of the Agrees ‘'advised 
dst king and council on matters of war and public policy." 14 The head 
'rf the church in aboriginal Fern was the brother or Hie unde of die 
fftej. ihe head of rhe government. In Egypt the rivalry" between pharaoh 
and the priesthoods eventually led to the domination of the throne by 
the latter. And “the Assyrian autocrats *,. did not embark on any public 
sairm without consulting her (Tshtcr's] priestSL w “ In Greece anti Rome 

rtrole Fittm»!Jy the stale wands ready tn use arnwd force sg^bist other ftiMi 
to niiiiint^rn the trailing order or m crens a new orsc '* A. ft. RideMe-Brawn, 
wJjcc f 0 Afriftm Patiricat M, Fqrtfcs and E, F.. Evans-Pritefcafd (rdi,)# 

Oi/^xd Unriemty 3 J r««L l^mdon* i^tos p. 
m muntack* ffp. *!>-, p, fycu 

f timer, TI.l ■ Qrtji Culmrat TwxIki&A i, lot t. McGraw-Hill Bonk Company,, 

™ ^rk* i^i b p, 1?1t 

tuf joucmn-TUi. aiLi'OLimoN m consequences 

the p ricsis evened mud, poHW !■«■« *!$ t0 ° ^ 

ickmititd with die secular ruling classes to dcvclup independent P 0M cr * 

Wat. It may safdv be said that no war can be fought without re* 
course to the supernatural. In civil society it b the busuiea of die 
dcrey tts it ^ of the medicine man rn tribal cultures, to tnobili/L die 
population for military purposes, The principal pod of the A'/iks^ 
UiEilopidiTii, the god of war. and his priest was one of the run be 
of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Military expeditions were led by 
and tlie idols of gods. And one of the chief fimeiaom of l jj 

Aztecs was to obtain captives for the temple sacrifices. In Lgypt arui 
other ancient cultures of die Old World, victory m war was * gif‘ft 
die ends: "Ainoti ha* -iven to me !us victory, declared Ramescs t alter 
ihc battle of K a desk And consequently, the gods must: he rewarded by 
gifts to. or a division of die sp-.ils of war with, the pntetbnods. 

Chin structure. The priesthoods of die urban cultures of antiquity 
were an integral part of the das* structure of civil society, and conw- 
qucmlv they accepted this class structure os they ac«picd their oven 
Zdsmnec. The »!»** were on .me side, the rulers, military k-adei, and 
priests were on the other; this was in accordance with the will fluh 
plan of the gods, and therefore it was a religious duty to maintain am 
pcFpetu.ire die system . Far fmm opposing da very, ir appears rhit i 
foxi slaves were ’probably confined to the temples" where they worked 
as agricultural laborers or as liandicraftanen.” 

Social control: education and vsortkip. As we noted earlier, in oar 
discussion of ethics, whereas the gods did nor intrude into the < umestic 
affairs of primitive peoples, they became very much concerned w< » 
the behavior of the masses in civil societies; that is to tsy. rhepne-.t i 
employed theology and titua! to insrill ohedience and docility mto 
minds of the masses and make them loyal to the established or cr* 
military force of the state W«S not enough to cop with 
and ever-recurring threat of insurrection, civil war, and anarchy; J 
resource* of the church must be employed to this end also. So 11 , 
that the priests taught the masses, and validated these teachings ' UE 
the woiufera and mysteries of religion, that thev should accept, an V* 
defend, the established order. For the Egyptians, the universe wait a mo 
order established by the sun god, Re. and their social ideal invoke 
full acceptance of doss status, the inferiority of labor, ami pveixy * 
ordinary condition of common men; these, indeed. were aspects ft 

mL i, p, 

tue sTAT£-cuuitaf: m fobau anp rvNcrroNs 

divine moral order*" ** Buddhism taught men and women to be content 
with their lot and station in life. The teaching of Confucius "devoted 
its whole attention to making people recognize their betters with dis- 
rincthm," according to Ku Chi eh-hang, ‘'and that i.s certainly 3 most 
jJviniatjefjLLS theory' to an autocratic despot." Ah>rt recently* the 
Roman Qithdic Church has recognized the utility and function of ro 
Itgtoii as means of preventing insurrection by “subduing the souls of 
into." ** 

Church Jfrtd property. Jn keeping with its rule a* .1 component of the 
special mechanism of Integration and control in civil society, the church 
possesses and enjoys great ucalrh Hie ruling d*ss possesses ;■ virtual 
monopoly of wealth as well as of political power, and the higher clergy 
h a significant part of the ruling dess. 

' Man lives hut by the grace of Gnd ! express iin attitude found in 
vimiaJiy all cultures. Man cannot live by his own efforts alone; he mutt 
have assistance from the spirit world. So ii h that even in the crudest 
Culture^ subsisting wholly upon wild foods* sacrifices are made to the 
gods in return for their help, Km-fmtits offerings arc made in early 
homcnltufal societies. Eventually this gratitude and recompense are 
etiendcd to the human rcpre>ema!ive\ or vicare + of the gods: the priests. 
In wjme tribal societies, such as the Pueblos of the American Southwest, 
priests receive at lease partial support- The priest-chief of the Kercsan 
Pueblos owns all the land, in rhc€»r>" at |e;tsi, and as rhe earthly repre¬ 
sentative of fjriku, the A1 other, he is supported by the community. 41 
in the «rh r urban cultures brought forth Ln the Agricultural Revolution, 
the land was owned by rise nod who was represented by a priesthood or 
by -i king, who might also be a priest, or by both. A portion of produce 
must Un-re fore i*o to rhe priesthood or tea the king ns "payment' for the 
use of the LrniL As the Agricultural Revolution, progrc*ved, kings and 
nobles and priesthoods came to [jpsscss more and more land and wealth 
derived from the arts and industries. 

N Turner, &p rit . vul, t* pp* jat-ir*; *bo pp Vh JM f £ac Mwnirni qpofi 
the- rojo H-kf prkiu tii general in tmitiftking rule, 

" Kn Oiteli-kang, '1 Tmvty" in Tbt Chintft >V-rf Shingluk ty\$, p. 

"“Only well dw experience tins when rriigiou ii bmiihed, Issjuun 

irahnrty toner. iu i£a full_when the rulrn of die people dMm the iu (honey 

Go4, the people in mm demise the authority of men. There remains, a* h tme, 

amioJ expedient of wpprtsaittg rebeUinn by forwt bar u> whw effect? Fam 
raAjfarr jbt pod iff 0 f mum, not th/it r.. jjj'j [irjlln ftipphedi' Encyclical mf Pope 

Bt^daet XV. Ad Bcjtmnrm, *t quoted by John A- Ryan* DIX and Fnnrit J. 

CSjC. in Citbphf Frmripfci of Politic "Hre Macmillan Company, New 

pp. t p5_i|4 

* Set L A. Whit** 'The Pueblo of Sima Am, New Mexico," 


Among the A»ec\ the pried* “lived in tise And often in luxury, sup¬ 
ported by krgf I iniltd olattv rich cmimbimufls of tribute, ami .1 con¬ 
tinuum stream of tacrificial doiurUms”** In indent Peru, ibc land 
divided into three parts, one of which was cultivated for the benefit 
of the temples and priesthoods. The ictiiplcs possessed coitsider.dik 
wealth- The principal one, the Temple of the Sun, “had ,1 golden garden, 
where trees and plants, fruits anti flowers, birds and ift*cct< were all 
of gold, and where grazed a herd of golden llamas under a life-sized 
gulden shepherd,"** 

The church owned vast wealth in ancient Egypt- W»e learn from the 
Harris Papyrus ** thar at a limit the time 0/ Ramescs 111 (119^1 HS7 
the temples owned over 107,00*1 slaves, or about s per cent of the popula¬ 
tion; about 7 jo,000 acres of land, or about ij per cent of alt the tillable 
land in Egypt; about 100,000 head of cattle; a fleet of BB ships; jj svnrL- 
shnps and shipyards; and all this in a land of ’less than 10,000 st|iiare 
miles and some five or six million inhabitants/ 1 (Massachusetts tea an 
area of 8.J66 square miles and in 1940 a population of 4,] 16.711 inh-ihir- 
antsi). At one time die Temple of Amoii, at Thebes, alone held over a 
lulf million acres of land* Sujii men. 431+400 head of livestock, £3 
h&m, and 65 villager* The temples of Mesopotamia were also wealthy. 

Tetnp!er> became center* of business arte! Industry, The temple of Bail. 
In Lag^K a city of ancient Sunset; employed wage workers—paid irl 
barley—and posted slaves us well. bakers brewery spinner*. smiths, 
and Mriciilfcral laborers* ai weft as ufilujls. clerks* ami priests, were its 
occupational groups. It owned its own equipment: M mctal tools ploughs, 
plough frftfirak* wagons and boats-. [It also possessed] breeding 
including a stud bull imported from FJirn/’ w In Mesopotamia, accord¬ 
ing to Guide, the temple was “nut only the center of die city's rdi^CMis 
life, bur also die nucleus of capital accumulation The temple functions 
as the great hank; the god h the chief capitalist of die land* The early 
temple archives record the god's loan of seed or ploy intitiak to fflW* 
valors, the fields he ha* let to tenant* wages paid to brewers; host- 
builders, spinners, and other employees, advances of grain or bullion to 
traveling merchants- The god is the ridiesi member of the community. 
The temples of Babylon also functioned as hanks. The Igibi hank* c** 

“ Murtfoclr, op. ew_, p, 591- 
“ Ibi 4 r t p. 4^7- 
"Preufd, Qp. dt>* pp. 

* A, Mom, The NM* j nd Exypiim Clvilkmon, n. 

*lVd Gcidon Ottiilc. trfriJ Happen*J w Hhwry, Penguin Bout*, f u < cw 
Vorir. 104ft, pp 

'V, Child-:, Mm Maker HfciK/j, C A Wj™ k CO., Ltd. hmdmh 19 $'* 

P **+ 


J75 SX-, "acted as buying agent for clients. Joined on crop, attaching 
them in advance; loaned on signatures 4 nd oil objects deposited, and 
received deposits on which it paid interest.’' *• The “oldest decipherable 
documents from Mesopotamia arc*.. the accounts of the temple revenues 
kept by the priests,” w The contract as a Legal device for Iciness rtam- 
actinns w« invented by Sumerian tempk officials; it w j-= used in rental 
of fields, houses, oven, anil boats. 10 And the temple-hank of Babylon 
used negotiable instruments in its loan business; “Warud-llisch.. lias 
received from the sun-priestess I Irani, one shekel of silver by the Sun 
God’s balance. Tliis sum is to | w used to buy sesame. Ar the rime of the 
sesatoe-harvest, lie will repay in sesame, at ihe current price, to the bearer 
of tbis doe tty tent [italics supplied f." n 
1 he church often shares with the stare and the military in the spoils 
of war. In ancient Egypt, “the boot}' collected both in Syria and 
Ethiopia went in enrich the god Amnn as much as it did the kings them¬ 
selves; every victory brought him the tenth pan of the spoil gathered 
on the field of battle, of the tribute levied on rhe vassals, and of the 
prisoners taken as slaves,, .. The Pharaohs, perpetually called upon as 
Tlitv Were oi recompense one or another nf their servants, were never 
able to retain for long their share of the spoils of war. The god [i.e-, the 
priesthoods], on the contrary, received what lie got for all rime, and gave 
Hack nothing in return. .. 7= 

The church M as sometimes more tenacious than the state in other re 
Tpcets also; in Egypt under Himeses lit, "while the poor In rhe employ 
of die State were starving .ji the door of ait empty treasury, the mire* 
houses of the gods were groaning with plenty, and A men was yearly 
receiving over 055,000 bushels of grain for the offerings at his annual 
feists alone." « 

Our review of the church has made it plain that its functions parallel 
tfaise of the state very closely. There are, to be sure, differences of dc- 
we have found, for example, no instance in which tfic church lias 
undertaken the construction of roads. But in the major fund ions of 
waging war, in keeping the subordinate class docile and obedient, and 
J n performing important functions in agriculture, irrigation, industry, 

Hliterry of" in Encyclopaedia S finnmki, r^rti ed- *t>L |, ifljp, p, 67. 

/Ij-n Makes Hmneif, p_ 1:4. 
op. tie., vat, i, p, ja*. 

„ '"aritfnp, Himjry nl," lt>e- eft. 

. Jp C \3 aspens, in History of Egypt, Child ta, Syria, Baby lama and Aityria, 
A *n Si ' cc Val f> Ebe Grolscr Society, Int, New York. 1903. p, Do. 

Brtaitcd. op. rif, 1941 ed., p. 49k 

jiB xuf- AOHjctTkTEBAL mi^LUTtOitf A^ti rr£ conseq^t^#ces 
business and finance, the church performs essentially the same functions 

as the slate- ^ m 

The state-church stuntis forth. tfi&irfott, as tftu special mechanise of 
coordination of pits and processes nf sociocultural systems produced 
by the Agricultural Revolution-, it is the secularHtfdcsIiistka) means of 
their integration, regulation, and control. 


As we noted in Coupler 9, ‘ Economic Organization of Primitive So¬ 
ciety*" rhere arc only two basic types of economic system: (1) one in 
which relationships among items of property are functions of relation¬ 
ships among him sin brings and (:) c system jn which relationship 
among persons arc functions of relationship among items of property- 
Or, to put it in another way, one system subordinates human social rela¬ 
tionships to property relationship- the other subordinates property rda- 
tiomhip to htinvin. relationship, Fc is unfortunate that neither economists 
tiur anthropologists have names for these two fundamental kinds of cco* 
neettk System- The system which subordinates property relationships 
to human social rcloitamhips is the only kind that exists within primitive 
societies basied upon kinship, although die other exists in kite rented com¬ 
mercial relations. The economic system that subordinated human sodal 
relations to property relations is die one that characterizes all civil so¬ 
cieties, although vestige* of the primitive system remain among small 
group* qf relatives* friends, or neighbors. 

All civil societies are organized upon the ba*b of property reJarinni. 
This means that all the classes thqt are characteristic of civil society* 
« distinguiiihetl from primitive, tribal society— Icing*, nobles, lords, 
fttm\ guilds of specialized artisans and ocher occupational group, mer¬ 
chants, bankers, usurers; debtors an d oredimn, employers ynd employees, 
freemen, serfs, ami slaves—arc the social exp region of cconwifc Orjphf 
nation, Social nod political structures *re ihe reflexes of economic sffuc- 
lures, Nobles are person* possessed by wealth, by landed estates. Free- 
ri]tn arc those who arc neither possessed by wealth nor possess any by 
means of which they can live* Wageworkers arc persons who sell their 
ability to svork in the labor market; tlie entrepreneur, the employer, 
i* the other pole of tills axis, A prostiiuEe is a land of commodity* A 
s *rf Is an adjunct of landed prupenv. A stave is a piece of property in 
human form, A thief h the human expres^iun of ilfcga! property trans- 
actions. A beggar exemplifies ptirasitisiij in the realm of economics* 



Property is the foundation of civil society; its forms and processes are 
the morphology and physiology of ihc l>ody politic, Et is the common 
denominator into which all social classes above ihc tribal level of social 
development can he translated. The status of every individual* every 
class, is :e function of property' relations Everything has the form of 
function of propertyj one is himself an item of property or is i property 
owner. In civil society property is rhe measure of all mem 
Became the economic sy.sterns of primitive society place human 
relationships — human rights and human welfare—above property rela¬ 
tions and rights, they are human, or humane, ethical, and personal syv 
terns. And to the extent that they are organised in terms of kinship, the 
economic systems of tribal cultures are fmrerml. The economic systems 
of civil society, on the other hand, subordinating as they do human 
rights and human welfare to property rights, 1 arc ini personal, nonhuman* 
and its character. These traits tEanskitd into terms of human 
experience arc impersonal. InEuiman, or inhumane, and unethical All the 
suffering, indignities, and degradation that come from slavery, serfdom, 
prostitution, usury, dependence upon wages, unemployment, wars of 
conquest and expropriation! colonial rule, and expluiration arc Inherent 
in the economic systems nf civil society. In commercial systems any thing 
may lie bought or sold: a womans chastity, u judge's honor, i citizens 
allegiance. There m no crime however heinous that men will not commit 
in obedience in their economic systems.* And the unethical nature of 
civil Society*, economic systems corrupt and blights the higher classes 
as well ai the lower. T he usurer b m;ide svaricimi* is lib victim is im¬ 
poverished; the slaveowner becomes callous and hypocritical and evrn 
sanctimonious; the landlord is not ennohkd by the eviction of widow* 
and orphans- the great colonizer Would have the oppress!on and anguish 
of millions of natives ot| hk conscience, were he able to retain one; the 
grear industrialist must derive satisfaction from a wretched and im¬ 
poverished working class. 

Although all the economic systems of civil society subordinate hurrun 
relations to property relations, we may distinguish two kinds of tiuse 
systems: fi) one in which the economic process of production ami db T 

1 An officer of ihe law may. in ihc line of duty. thoof and kill t mm wlrn h# 
broken into * non: in rhe dead of night rp smil food to feed hi* hungry cMdrcft- 
T1<« £■, of co Line, perfectly cofubrcm with die property \mk of dvti *ocwty' |T 
the social order rtii* tipon private pmfrcny, dmn theft ui a blow Mmck nr in 11t! T 
fouudatipii ^ ind nr f sockiy can nr uiJi ml?me iliis kind of an suicL 

* According TO Ahrtr^i cf :h? VlMtd Siam, ayl n. 0? ? p* r CTm Ci( ^ 

cfimei cominftwd In 1951 ucre crimed lgnimt prwperry T |jc. t robbery, ihcfr. ernbt^ 
ilcnxnt, etc. And diit docs tuje include murders: cornmiticJ during holdup* of n " 
collc<rr life mimaitc*, Nor doer it indade the of narcotics to juveniles. 


t&mmm is controlled and regulated by the go varuflait, end ( a ) the 
system in which the economic process is allowed ro function freely is 
an economic process, with only enough government*! uipemsiDn end 
control to ensure that it is carried out in accordance with certain rules. 
Jn other Words, ihe processes of production, exchange, and distribution 
rake place in ierms of the economic value* of the tilings invoked, in 
terms of wages, prices, buying and veiling, lending and borrowing s the 
government supervises am! polices this activity ro prevent dishon^ry. 
cheating, defaulting on debts and contract*, 

VVc have previnudy cited the empire of the inras as an example of the 
government-controlled kind of system, and the Amts as an example 
of the relatively free commercial' process. Among the great urban cub 
rurcs of the ftron^e Age, Egypt was for 3 long rime a good ct ample p>f 
Mute control of economic process, while B tbvloma exemplified the com¬ 
mercial system. Linder the Ptolemies the “whole economic organization 
(if Egypt was built up nn the principle of cenrriibzarian and control by 
the Government sis well as the luitiandizarion of all production in agri¬ 
cultural and industrial life, Fverything was for the State and through 
the State, nothing for the individual. P . * 1 
In Mesopotamia, on the other hnn± rights of private property and of 
individual business enterprise were established by the Sumerians and 
extended by the Babylonians. “In I Limmurabi's. rime both IjtslI itid 
diatids could be In night, sotd* loaned, leased, pledged. bequeathed, and 
contracts covering any of these actions were enforceable bv Jaw. In other 
*vords a system of freehold property had evolved, i,e„ possessors fiad 
rights of use and disposal without fundranec by any rdigiau* or political 
authority: 1 1 The free commercial system flourished in ancient Greece, 

\Vr have already advanced a theory to account for the development 
of these two different kind* of economic systems in the ruination from 
primitive to civil *ndc(y (see pp + At this point we wish merely 

tri calj attention to the way each operates with reference to the cli^ 
division of society. It h HaSf itxtut rEinr characterizes the Maten:ainrolkd 
system; certain people arc verfr. peasants, or slaves; other* arc priests 
or nobles. "Hie *1 a fuses of these cb-sses are integiml feature* of the 
politkal structure, and their weal or woe as a consequence of the opera¬ 
tion in the economic system is determined by class status, w'hich is 

‘ M- I, RrriPinvTT^ . rr FV Foundations of Social and Fccmtrmir Life in Egypt id 
Hdlcnktic TimrC fimrrui of Egyptian ditb'At&j&gj, toL ft, p, 164, 19 j&. 

k RTilph Turner, Ttr Great Cta thuraf TrxJirwm. to!, 1. McGftw-RiU Boot Gthtt- 
(““¥+ New Vorlc + 1941, p. 1^. Turner adds ihur “re iitlbt lie mucmbcrriL Iktw- 
that hoc all praperry, especially bnd h was IseliE vrtikr thh private 1 righi; in fie?* 
rnfcch tutd wu hc[sj by ike tirt^, die EEElipk*, and the nnblcL-.J" 


and cannot be changed. In the free commercial system, howtvet, 
ir is cmrtr&tt that gives sneiay its distinctive charterer. Ir is the posEs- 
siun Of money that gives one person, or class, power over another in 
Taxation, rent,' monej'kndiiig, die wages system* and buying and selling. 
Subordination and exploitation are achieved by class seams in the one 
tywuti , by free contract in the other. In cither ease, however, the system 
is backed by the authority of the state - 5 

Lmd tenure. Land was unquestionably the most important factor m 
the economic systems of Bronze and limit Age cultures. And indeed it 
remained so, with perhaps a feu exception*, until die Industrial and 
Fuel Revolution got under way in western Europe after die Jkcoveiy 
of America. The great urban cultures of antiquity were I#3*ed upon die 
intensive cultivation of the land- The institutions of bud tenure were 
therefore of the greatest importance. 

fo primitive society ha se.d upon kinship the bud belonged to the tube, 
i.e. t die title, so to speak* was held by the tribe, even though portions 
of the trihaj territory might be held and used by family, fir other kinship, 
Cfroups, As we approach rhe threshold of dvij society, however, there 
is a tendency for tide to be held by the head of the political-religious 
system as the earthly representative of 3 god. Thus at Acorns, a Retrain 
Pueblo in New Mexico, the cacique, who stood for the earth mntiiE-r, 
ow ned all the land in theory* although in practice he was obliged to allot 
unused Lmd to anyone who asked for it/ In Buganda, Easi Africa* all 
land—except clan burial grounds—belonged to tlie king, who :i Hatred si 
ro official 1 * and favorites, in Dahomey the king owned, in theory 1 lm 4* 
nor only all the Uni but ail the people* too, together with rheir 
sio ns, 

In the early civil societies the land belonged to a god who was repre¬ 
sented by the king-priar- The Sumerians called their king-priest rhe 
"tenant fanner" of the god* and each year lib "lease" was renewed, lift 
Pharaoh held all the bind of Egypt, presumably for a god. Where tdng? 
and priesthoods were different and distinguishable component of ™ 
state-church, they had riieir own lands. Lands were allotted to nobles 
and to military commander* in return for service. For a long time land 

1 Tlifr dilferenet In ecofVH nk tfmm of the firanze and Irun Ag« finili h* 
m the hbiory of muikni u rintro Europe. LmidiEwm w« a srart-corttmlkd f>«n- 
in which tu&ordininun *nd exptaimiort were determined by r]*cd el» * fLj ' 
dalp'-m inccHrdcil by capitalism* in which tuliordinaticm md expiaiwben u *< lh 
uttbkrctl by the power of money expressed in frtc bubvUflMl cnicrpri«. J™ 4 , » 
the rignitittm psMgc front mtv* to eontrsef^ nbout which Sir Hvar> 
wrote wo illuinhutingty in Advent Lrm f ihfit. * 

•Leslie A. Wltiie, The Amwa ItidiM, Forty^mmh Annual Report* Bureau 
American Ethology, i^z. 

economic snucruHK or mommi c rn t tme i jjj 

confirmed td lie held in feudal tenure, and it b not bown precisely 
when the iirw of land took place, Eventually, however, land was 
freed from the kudu I form* of tenure and entered the stream of com- 
tnerte, along with products of the workshop As early as Hammurabi s 
time 1940 b,c), ai least, as we have already noted* land ivjs freely 
bought and sold. 

AitfTft/f&ctttrittg industries, While agriculture was the principal industry 
in all the great cultures of the Bronze am I iron Ago, man uf&c firing 
increased in magnitude and significance the Agricultural Revolution 
developed and diverted more and more of the population from fi:*ud 
producing to the art^ and crafts. Among these, the ceramic,, ?c.ttilc T 
and metallurgical industries stood out as basic in the economic structure, 
bnr there were countless others, ranging from baking md brewing to 
the manufaemre of pert 1 ernes and jewelry. 

Industries grew up in both kinds of economic system, the state-corn 
trolled and the free commercial. We do not know the history of the de¬ 
velopment of the Industrial system of ancient Mexico, but U apparently 
developed as a free economic enterprise, for Cortez found a great num¬ 
ber of guilds of specialized craftsmen who produced goods m rhdr 
o\vt\ account, which they sold in an open marker* The industrial system 
oi the ancient Jncas. on the other hand, was controlled by the Matt. 
In both Egypt «fld Mesopotamia, industry grew up in workshop, at¬ 
tached to royal House holds and temples. There were a few independent 
craftsmen in Egypt who were free to sett their warts in the market, 
hut this practice was much more extensive in .Mesopotamia. In Bahvlonia, 
free craftsmen were paid wages, first in kind, later in money. Slaves urn! 
serfs were also employed in industry, especially in royal and temple 
workshops; in Greece, slaves were sometimes engaged in indurcria 
carried on by individual entrepreneurs. One finds the beginnings of a 
factory system in Greece, in which a* ninny as twenty workmen might 
he employed. And division of labor vm